Unicorn's Guide to the Galaxy - uh Sanctuary ^,^

Nelson Mandela

"If we do not do something to prevent it, Africa's animals, and the places in which they live, will be lost to our world, and her children, forever." - Nelson Mandela

A sort of FAQ with links compiling some of Kevin Richardson's Wildlife Sanctuary media information. Obviously, the text is too involved for youngsters, but they can still enjoy the links. ^_~

It was below 30F most of February / beginning of March 2019, and often below 20F, so I did not go outside much... I like to do constructive things with my time. ^_~

Kevin Richardson intro: Plight of Lions

Kevin Richardson Foundation intro: Save Habitat to Save Lions

Fighting for your future. Earth Day 2016

GoPro: Lions - The New Endangered Species

T-shirts- goes the extra mile with
environmentally conscious company ^_^

also more Sanctuary merch

Working with AfriCat North
~ AfriCat North now Namibia Lion Trust ~

Choose Hope
~ Join the Kevin Richardson Foundation
in many ways to help lions and wildlife. ~

World Lion Day

~*~ Is Kevin Richardson a hypocrite? ~*~ Breeding ~*~ Releasing ~*~ Cub Petting ~*~
~ Canned Lion ~ Ask Meg & Amy + misc. ~ Teeth ~ Surgery ~ Hyena ~ Leopards ~ Enrichment ~ Volunteering ~

~*~ Updated 2021 ~*~ I've now moved the sections to separate pages, as I've added more links and more info - especially to cub petting and hyena. Also, please note, that most of the lions are elderly, now, and some of the animals in the posts/videos have since passed on. I am thankful for their contribution to spreading awareness about lions and hyena, both captive and wild, and may they rest in peace. ~*~

As well as many topics being addressed in the information found on both the Sanctuary site and Kevin Richardson Foundation site, some of these topics have also been well-addressed via their social media on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook multiple times over the years. Yet, they are still frequently brought up by people new to the awesome Lion Whisperer community.

Here are some collected links to past posts (mostly videos) on the subjects for easy reference - with a few supplemental links to relevant info from other sources. I hope it's useful for the curious, puts the misinformed straight, and inspires others to spread awareness. There's a lot here, with some of my own opinions (I tried to keep it short, but I can be quite talkative when I'm passionate about something. ^^) and links to relevant media listed by topic, but I encourage you to explore other sources for information as well - that's how to develop well-rounded and researched opinions. Don't just take our word for it! ^_~ He's been posting for many years, and I haven't gone through it all with a fine-tooth comb. No, really! There's a LOT more, so it'd be worth your while to go to his Instagram, Facebook and YouTube pages to see all the other great stuff on them. He's much more diplomatic than I am, too. ^_~

~ * ~ A few of his videos are "graphic" in natural ways, as in lions hunting and bringing down prey, or some of the veterinarian procedures, or feeding raw chunks of meat. I, myself, don't consider them "graphic", yet I know I tend to be unique. Still, I don't feel anyone should have an issue with them. If you're really interested in nature and lions, it's all part of that, but I understand that the sight of blood isn't everyone's cup of tea. So, just be aware and appreciate that Kevin provides educational insight into all matters lion, no matter how fun and adorable most of it turns out. ^_~

"A true friend knows all about you and loves you just the same."

He also has more in-depth videos, which you can get access to by going to his regular YouTube channel and joining the members special channel through there (just $5/month, I believe, which goes to the Sanctuary/Foundation).


If there's any abuse going on at the Sanctuary, Kevin's the one on the receiving end... ^,^

(...sometimes, I wonder if we are horrible for finding it hilarious when he gets dive-bombed... poor Kevin! Did you know he actually gets whiplash sometimes? Falling down on his own as they come at him is self-preservation. ^^)

{Click on the pictures for larger views that you can print out to color. ^_^}


First of all, I will get this topic off my chest (It became really long ^,^, because it involves a few subtopics.): I have noticed some out there cry foul, because Kevin "purchased" the lions at his Sanctuary (how he saved his lions is in a few of his videos, linked in topics above), and brand him as evil and as participating in the very canned lion industry he is trying to end. One place even files him under animal abuse 9_9 and a few of their fellow dissenters vehemently claim he is not a conservationist.

true conservationI find this incredibly silly and spreading hate a disservice to conservation. I don't believe "conservationist" is some exclusive club needing member approval. It's a state of mind and principles. True conservationists promote peaceful coexistence, for that is the heart of what conservationism fights for, and what it needs to take root and thrive. That's why we all love Kevin and his Sanctuary, isn't it? ^_^

Maybe you've come across haters or misinformation, or you might in the future. Here's my take on the subject:

(update: In 2021 May, there was announced hope for real change, but as of) Right now, unfortunately, lion farming, cub petting, and killing of captive lions for trophies and the lion bone trade are all perfectly legal in South Africa - where Kevin is, where Kevin's lions (except for George & Yame) are from. Kevin can't just go up to the authorities and say, "Hey, I want to rescue these lions: Go confiscate them for me."

To say that "buying" animals to get them out of the industry in Africa feeds into, or supports, the industry, is also off. Negative people look at it that way, positive people see it as rescuing nonetheless, and reasonable, enlightened people know that thousands of cubs are going to be bred regardless and that whether they end up in a sanctuary or in front of a bullet is the only thing that differs when they're "bought". So, until that industry is ended, buying an animal out of it is the only way to save it.

(Extremists who break into places and set animals "free" en masse do not care about the actual welfare of the animals, which often suffer and die en masse as a result; nor do they care about the environment into which they are flooding those animals, which can suffer catastrophic harm as a result - including harm to people. They are only interested in status quo and sensationalism. ...but that is a topic for a different page... Just, saying: that kind of behaviour is NOT "rescuing", and is not an option.)

Attacking Kevin for "buying" the Sanctuary animals is the same as saying he should not have rescued them, that he should have just left them to rot in the cruelty and went his way. That Thor, Meg and Amy, Vayetse, Livy, Ginny, Tau, Charlie and all the rest should have been left in that industry. Like, 'if you can't rescue them all at once, then don't rescue any of them'. Unconscionable nonsense. I'm so glad he not only had the compassion to save these lions, but that he took it to heart to save the species as a whole.the truth is out there

Sadly, some also cry foul saying Kevin "exploits" the animals in his care, by having them be in movies or commercials, or by posting his media of them to spread awareness, provide fun education about the animals, greatly aid in research into lion and hyena behaviour, and more.

I had to scratch my head at that one, as I feel it's quite clear the animals at his Sanctuary only do what they want to. He never uses whips, or chains, or fear - just tasty treats and lovin's. ...and lots of patience. ^_~ I would like to say we don't condemn people who train housecats, dogs, horses or other animals in this way, but I know there's extremists out there who do. It's very unfortunate that they give a bad name to people who authentically care about animal welfare. I also find it sadly funny that they are very often wearing leather shoes, eating pizza, cookies and pasta, using crayons, paintbrushes and baby formula, driving gas-fueled cars, and likely using numerous other products that "exploit" nature that they've never thought about because they haven't truly researched their position. [See pg59 and Food For Thought for more examples.] They're only in it for the sensationalism.

One spreader of hate against Kevin and his Sanctuary, I came across early 2019, happens to be an exotic animal sanctuary in the US that does themselves what they spit at Kevin for. (I also get the feeling that part of their hate-mongering stems from them not being able to use Kevin's name to endorse their own agenda - which I looked into and find extremist and not something I would support. I feel getting breeding farms banned would make it moot, anyway, and have to wonder why they're attacking someone who has taken tremendous steps in spreading awareness worldwide and inspired millions of supporters to step up and help push for such a ban. Seems strange to me. What is their true agenda? Aren't we fighting for the same goal?) A few others out there spread the same hate, but this one was the silliest I've seen, as, by their own standards, they themselves exploit the animals in their care:bwhahahaha

They have large groups of people, all armed with cameras, pay to get in to see exotic animals. The public gets within feet of the animals (there's a safety fence, but they can get close to them), can take photos of themselves with them (not holding or petting, but it's still taking photos of themselves with exotic animals), and staff will use meat on the ends of sticks to have animals "perform" for the public (no, not like circus performances, but, by their own standards, having a tiger stretch up for a piece of meat is making it do something, ie. perform)... They, too, have countless videos and social media posts of the animals.

Where exactly do you draw the line that says, "Well, it's okay if WE do it, but Kevin is evil."

They cry foul on others for "interacting" with animals (like Kevin's lions loving on him), yet they themselves interact with the ones in their care. They didn't raise those animals from cubs, so they don't get in the cages with them, but they certainly talk to them, put their hands and faces up to the wire for licks and sniffs and rubs, and (as said above) even have them perform small things. Just because there's a fence between them, doesn't mean they aren't interacting.

perspectiveThere are many, many, many accredited zoos and sanctuaries around the world who employ the same principles that Kevin does. No one person owns them in those situations, so they may cuddle with the lemures but not the tigers, but tigers have been trained to present parts of themselves to be handled through the bars for bloodwork and vaccinations. These well-accepted places understand the benefits of having the animals in their care able to calmly interact with their keepers: It makes their captive lives much less stressful to them, as they don't need chased down and tranquilized every time they need moved or given veterinarian care.

"Oh, people are going to see Kevin cuddling with lions and go get some so they can do it too!" Well, quite frankly, one should look in the mirror and say, "Oh, people are going to see us with tigers and all kinds of wild cats in cages and go and get their own managerie so they can do it too!" ...Yeah: That's silly, isn't it?

I like to believe most people know that if you tried to just go up to and cuddle with a stranger's housecat or dog, you might very likely get a good scratch or bite. It's pretty silly to suggest that seeing someone cuddle with a large predatory animal like a lion would cause everyone to run out and get one or want to get out of their car in a park or reserve and expect to cuddle with wild lions. Furthermore, Kevin most certainly doesn't do that. The only lions he goes in with are ones that he raised and who consider him family.They stay cub-sized forever!

It's like saying people who see others cuddling with the adorable orphaned elephant babies or rhinos are going to run out and try it, or people who see photos of poachers glorifying their deed are all going to run out and do that, or swim with dolphins and decide to have one at home, and I've never heard of hordes of people having gone to circuses or zoos running out and getting circus or zoo animals. Really, did hordes of people run out and get gorillas when they saw media of Koko, or chimps to be just like Jane Goodall? The vast majority of people take in the experience, make what they will of it, and it never crosses their mind to run out and "do it, too", because being "just like" isn't about owning the animals. ~ Kevin even lays out not to, that there's better ways to get involved, and it's something that needs serious reflection and isn't right for everyone that thinks they can handle it.

Another throws out blanket arguments that Kevin is "exploiting" his lions by using his ability to interact with them for money. Uh... all these other places they have no problem with garnish monetary support through use of the animals in their care. Zoos and sanctuaries have giftshops; solicit donations and sponsors through websites, photos, videos, even newspaper and tv ads about them with their animals; they take exotic animals to talk shows and parades; they make documentaries of their facility's projects with animals; charge admittance; sell paintings they have the animals do; even encourage the public to physically interact with many non-domestic animals (learning programs abound, "Hey, come up and pet the hedgehog/reptile/exotic bird...", even with marine animals like stingrays); and their owners and employees have salaries for their services.

Captive animals can't feed themselves or pay for their veterinarian care or enclosure upkeep and improvements.

Too, most of these places will sell and trade their animals: Something Kevin does not do. Kevin's lions have a furever home with him.

One should really wonder what hatemongers' real goals are.

If such dissenters TRULY believed their own hype,

they would be fighting to ban teddy bears.

How many have they inspired with hate to change their ways to benefit animals or even to start their own advocacy? Or have they just entertained sensationalism addicts for a day with no tangible benefit for the animals they claim to champion with their hatemongering? Because right on at least one of their sites, they express frustration that people aren't hopping on their bandwagon.

Genuine leadership is what brings true awareness and inspires change. Caring education and guidance raises up better stewards of the Earth.

"Hate: It has caused a lot of problems in this world, but has not solved one yet." - Maya Angelou


So, no: Kevin is not the hypocrite, and he didn't give himself the name of The Lion Whisperer, and can't save lions alone, and I am so glad he uses his platform to raise awareness and make change. I certainly didn't know anything about the plight of lions until I came across Kevin's outreaching media, and I know for a fact that many, many others didn't either. For hate-mongers to cry shame on him is the true shame. When you have a public forum, it shouldn't be used to mud-sling. It muddies the cause. I believe there's much more constructive things to do with one's time. It's much more fulfilling, and productive, to spread positivity. ~ like this ^_~

This topic leads into: Do you want to "have what Kevin has"? You may already. ^_^ I don't have any animals right now, but I have had what Kevin has - just not with lions. Lots of people have what Kevin has - just not with lions. What's special about Kevin is that he uses it for something greater than himself.

More than wanting to rush out and get their very own lions, I feel it's clear the majority of people who see Kevin with the Sanctuary animals develop a desire (if they don't already have one ^_~) to want that kind of companionship with animals in general - a mutual respect and love, a very special camaraderie you can only experience between human and animals whose trust you have earned, a peaceful co-existence - and that's a good thing to strive for and to be encouraged.

Animals are not inherently "vicious man-killers". For people who don't already know better, Kevin turns those stereotypes upsidedown and shows that lions, and other predators, are not some scourge we should be happy to be rid of but rather are intelligent, likeable and necessary elements of a healthy world.

Bonus: Watch these promotions for Casio ProTrek watches and Van Gils suits (I played with horses that way! So fun!) and tell me Kevin is an "exploitive abuser of animals", and you will make me laugh. ;p I feel it quite plain these great companies promoted lion conservation more than their product. Mercedes Benz, Craghoppers, GoPro, Zamberlan Outdoor, Adrian Steirn, David Yarrow, and others like them that he mentions aren't evil either. You can support Kevin's efforts, too, with One Cup For a Cause, joining the member YouTube channel for more in-depth videos than what's on his regular channel, donating, volunteering, supporting causes they do, and by sharing and spreading awareness. ~ Look for some of the documentaries and films he's done, listed on his site. He's participated in other great ones, too. ~ fun 1yr anniversary #onecupforacause vid

We have a choice.

We have a responsibility.

The environment's needs are our needs.

Break your silence.

Silent Advocates Vainly Entreat   Uproar Saves

Save Us

I love this Skillet video of "Not Gonna' Die". It's an animation of a child and lion battling a many-headed dragon. When I came across it in 2018, I immediately thought it a great analogy of the battle of, and for, our youth and lions against extinction and the canned lion industry. It's an uphill battle, with many wounds and falls, looking hopeless at times, but if we fight together, we can overcome.

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Be a steward of the Earth.

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[I make the printable images to be around 8x11 inches to fill a sheet of regular letter-size paper when printed. Coloring pages may be printed from here and made copies of for non-profit, free-of-charge use only. Plant seeds! ^_^]

Thanks Neocities!