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 ^_^

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 + ~ Teeth ~ Surgery ~ Hyena ~ Leopards ~ Enrichment ~ Volunteering ~

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. ^^)


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 topics below), 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.

I 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: There is hope for real change 2021July, 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.

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. 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:

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.

There 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.

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 make documentaries; 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 projects and 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

World Farm Animals Day


One of the subjects that seems to bring out controversial commentors is breeding. Some have even outright accused Kevin of running a breeding farm. The Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary does not breed the lions in their care. I feel this has been very obvious. Either the accusers are simply trying to sow doubt and misinformation to undermine Kevin's efforts, or they are misinformed themselves, or they are confusing the past with the present:

More than twenty years ago, when Kevin was first introduced to working with lions in captivity, it was at a park that bred lions. There are documentaries out there of his time there, and perhaps these people just saw them for the first time now and don't realize those are twenty years old. Once Kevin realized the fate captive lions faced, he rescued the ones he had been working with and grown close to and created his Sanctuary to give them a much better life - which does not include breeding. ~ The Sanctuary was using contraceptives, spaying a few at a time when they could afford it, and all the lionesses are now spayed.

I even saw a comment crying to let them breed and "be natural"..! ^^' Um, lions in captivity is NOT "natural" to begin with. Furthermore, people who feel that way (who probably don't spay their pets and contribute to pet overpopulation and mass euthanization, which certainly isn't "natural") are not taking into account the cost of housing and caring for all the excess lions that would produce, nor who or where would house them, and are apparently unaware that the fate of most captive lions is the cruelty of the canned lion industry. As Kevin clearly states numerous times, he is against lion farming and is working to increase and protect wild habitat so wild lions can happily "be natural". ^_~

The Kevin Richardson Foundation's mission is to do just that.

preventing Breeding at the Sanctuary

Kevin on giving Sanctuary lionesses contraceptives

an #AskMeg with more about problems with breeding

{ 2019 : all lionesses now spayed }

Smithsonian Predator Roadtrip - Sanctuary using contraceptives

how the contraceptives work

If breeding captive lions helped wild ones, Kevin would be doing it.

why better to spay lionesses than neuter lions


Some people wonder why they can't just be released into the wild. Well, there are numerous reasons, but the most important one is that: There is nowhere wild to put them. If there was suitable habitat, wild lions could easily populate it. Breeding farms claim they are breeding to repopulate the wild, yet only extremely rarely (if truthfully at all) do any of those lions end up released. Read more about what actually happens to captive-bred lions below in the Cub Petting and Canned Lion topics.

Not enough homes

Captive lions are also habituated to people, which makes it dangerous to release them. They hold no fear of humans, and a great increase in lion-human conflicts, resulting in deaths on both sides, would be the consequence. There is also the gene pool to consider. Breeders are highly unregulated. Lineages, like we do for horses, are not kept for lions. So, there is no telling what is actually in captive lion populations. They are often inbred for traits that would not serve wild lions and would introduce mutations that could cause wild populations to deteriorate faster. Given their close proximity to other captive animals, captive lions could also be carriers of diseases that could wipe out a wild population if introduced into it.

One must ask: If it really was as easy as just releasing them, why are there four times as many crammed in captivity than in the wild in South Africa? Why aren't they in the wild right now??

Because: There is nowhere to put them.

Captive-lion breeders breed and kill for profit. Conservationists fight to restore and protect habitat so that wild lions will be able to thrive.

Have you read the Foundation's Status of Lions? It has information on all these subjects.

Kevin mentions there is nowhere for captive lions to be released

why don't breed, tail flicking, why don't release into wild

more on reality of keeping captive lions their entire lives

Instagram: lies and reality
2019 not enough habitat

A new feature film Kevin worked on might help you understand what breeding farm lions face. ~ Mia and the White Lion
in the US in April 2019

cub fate


George & Yame were rescued from a cub petting vendor in Spain. They were so malnourished that George suffered permanent damage to his body. Kevin took them in, and with his dedicated loving care, Georgie has managed remarkably well and, though his stamina doesn't match Yame's, is now a feisty adult. ^_~

Their story prominently illustrates some of the ills of the cub petting industry that unwitting tourists don't see, or turn a blind eye to.

Mass breeding of captive lions for thousands of cubs for tourists to pet, their owners have no intention of giving them long enriched lives. Unlike those cubs, Sanctuary lions will never be sold or discarded as they age.

Kevin's Sanctuary page on these subjects.

2019 update and background on George & Yame.

first sight of them

their health

after Georgie's cataract surgery
lol the instant change when he notices the camera ^o^

first walkies, Georgie's bad legs

more into George and Yame's origin

George's health

from cubs to 13mos

what dedicated loving care can heal

more on their journey, malnutrition used to keep cubs small longer

Georgie now has a spring in his step

all grown up

a documentary was made about them in 2016
"From Cubs to Kings" - watch a trailer of it


"Canned lion" and "canned hunting" is how almost all captive-bred lions end up - if they survive to adulthood and aren't put back into the breeding industry. People who like to kill just for the sake of killing will pay around $40-50,000, or more, to kill these lions. Thousands of dollars are paid for their skeletons, too, for the bone trade that caters to mainly Asians that claim animal parts have magical healing powers. - and on that note, part of the same trade in animal parts: Rhino horn is not really horn: It's made of keratin, the same as our fingernails and hair, animal claws and hooves... That market is driving rhino to extinction for an everyday thing that is nothing special. Ludicrous.

living lions are cooler

Canned lions, point-blank: Captive-bred, hand-raised lions start out as cubs in petting zoos/parks, stripped from their mothers so she will come into heat sooner and quickly produce even more cubs - because they don't stay small for very long and need continually replaced with new ones. The little cuties are subjected to frequent public handling (whether they're in the mood or not) and are often purposely malnourished to keep them smaller longer (some die). Within a few months, they're too big for that and are then subjected to "walks" with groups of strangers with sticks to ward off the rambunctious youths. At two to three years of age, they're uppity teenagers and too dangerous for that. From there, they go back into the breeding industry or are killed for profit.

That involves a bottle-fed, hand-raised and cuddled cub that is now an adult with no fear of humans being put into a different enclosure and someone paying big bucks to go in and shoot at them. (No matter how large the enclosure, the lions can still only go so far and have no chance at all for escape.) From what I've seen, many, if not most, have no actual hunting skills. They just want the status quo of having shot at a lion. (I would rather be known for protecting them, wouldn't you?) These lions may even be coming toward the humans looking for a treat or affection. They are sometimes drugged, or baited, to make them easier targets. ("baiting" is where they put out a carcass to attract the lion to a certain spot and keep him/her distracted) Surely, we can be better stewards than that.

Trophy killers (it's not "hunting" ;p): If these people were truthfully interested in helping conservation, as they claim they are, they would donate that money with no strings attached. They wouldn't need to kill something for a dust-collecting trophy in return. They could pay that money to assist in protection against poachers, restore and protect wild habitat, or participate in transporting animals to safer places or areas that need the genetic diversity. If the captive-bred cub petting and trophy industry is so great for "helping" wild lions, WHY are their numbers rapidly declining? You can't keep using the same old excuse when the facts knock it flat.

Like I've said before: Killing things is easy. Keeping them alive and protected takes real men.

Bone trade: If they truly believed such things actually work, they would be fighting tooth and nail to protect these species, instead of driving them to extinction without a care then merrily switching to another. They wiped out tigers, and are now replacing them with lion parts. The only end with that devouring wildfire mentality is eventual eradication of all life. Thankfully, much of the world is wiser than that. ^_^ We just need to wake others up to that, even in this day and age of advancement, things like this are still going on, and we could lose our king of beasts. Let's be the firebreaks.

What is Canned Lion Hunting? ~ * ~ What's a lion worth? 2016 ~ * ~ Foundation in-depth on it 2019

Industry breeders will assure tourists that when the cubs grow up, they'll "go to good homes", or be released into the wild. The reality is: There are no "good homes", and releasing into the wild is not a legitimate option. A lot is covered in this 60 Minutes interview with Kevin and look into the cub petting and canned hunting industry - 15mins.

While fighting to end the industry, we need to be aware of something - which the park owner they talk to even mentions in that video: Other people will be affected when the industry gets banned. For one, people, usually villagers, whose income is breeding stock for the meat that feeds the captive lions on the breeding farms will also need to find a new way of life.

Too, where are all the lions on the farms going to go when their owners suddenly have no more use for them? It's not as simple as just saying, "Let's ban captive-lion breeding farms." There's a lot to take into consideration and address along with it to make it feasible and a change that's fully welcomed by the communities surrounding it.

Kevin on South African government decision in July 2017, lion bone demand and more. A serious topic and 27 minutes long. - I just love his, "In my sanctuary, I have 30 lions. It's very easy, because I can count them.", in response to the government being very vague as to how many captive lions there actually are. 9,9 Seems pretty silly to me, too.

BrightVibes video outlining the issues and mission

'lions are revered around the world, must stop canned hunting'

2018Nov - SA gov recognizes captive breeding industry bad for rep

a good start ~*~ and a step back
Keep pushing: They can't ignore us forever.

this isn't hunting

so much mischief

lion cologne


first Ask Meg

sharpening claws - fav' meat

lion nose color and flehmen grimace

do they squabble?

trophy hunters don't like him ^^ - and what would happen to captive lions when industry is stopped

Meg vs monitor lizard - also about how he came to raise them

cameras and how Meg came to wear one

- meg rolling on camera

Meg with her camera

Meg's camera lost & found
Aw, Kevin, you are fighting for them! ^_~

scents of other animals are exciting

Eat. Sleep. Repeat. and eyesight

how some brands came to support him

why protect lions?
apex predators are essential and other topics

lion talk, why there's separate groups, why don't breed, and more


lions are thinkers, hyena tactics and more

lions favorite meat

lol Meg roaring agreement to one of his #askmeg answers ^_^

can't take in every single rescue case and more on breeding farms

strongest sense, lion's roar - no teeth

how we feel about zoos - I, myself, have felt for a long time that zoos have outlived their purpose and small ones without quality, spacious enclosures should be repurposed to focus more on providing education about the animals than on status quo of having a live one. Perhaps even some of the confiscated stuffed animals and parts sitting in warehouses can be given to zoos to put in the cage areas with appropriate scenery to reflect their natural habitats instead of live animals. Eventually, I'll get around to doing a big long page about it. ^_~

would they attack others? - uh, yeah... Some people are so silly! ^_~ Please, don't go into the space of animal strangers and expect them to have no problem with it. How many of you get barked at by dogs you pass? A lion's not going to bark, and they won't always snarl. They'll have other warnings, but most people won't recognize them until it's too late.

Scents & Sense Abilities series
~ lion pt1 ~ lion pt2 ~ lion touch ~ lion sight pt1 ~ lion sight pt2 ~
~ hyena ~ hyena touch ~ hyena hearing ~
~ leopards ~ leopard touch ~ leopard sight ~ leopard super senses ~

OTHER info

George and Yame - how lions feel to touch

lion's tongue info

lion jealousy, not really

work with their personalities (while loading)

instincts are amazing ^_~

leave porcupines alone ^^

but if you catch one, yummy!

jumping skills

on the cat walk

differences in the lions

looseness of male lion skin
without Kevin's relationship, they would just be lions in cages

back of lion necks

treating for ticks

caring for aging lions

equipment check

feeding day

catnip, drought and how we need to coexist with nature
everyone can change little things, they'll add up...


discussing Bongani living with FIP

cat up a tree!

lion feet and tracks

Amy's foot compared to Kevin's

Amy gives Kevin a tongue-lashing

lion food

lion tails

kitties in a tree

helping AfriCat prevent human-lion conflicts

"lion lights" make it look like someone's on patrol and helps deter predators from attacking livestock

Namibia lions eat seafood

lion impact on ecosystem

in-depth on leucism

lion parts

Lions aren't mean and other fun facts.

~ I'm going to add a paragraph, or two, or three, for this one. ^_~ It hasn't yet ceased to amaze me how some people are aghast, "Why don't they turn on him? They're wild animals!" Yes, they're wild animals. Unfortunately, some people equate "wild" with "vicious" or "mindless killers". I recall a quote from a poster I had as a teen, "Man calls an animal vicious when it defends itself when he tries to kill it." That's pretty backwards.

Lions are no more inherently interested in going around killing people than a bee is in going around stinging people (and that is from someone who's been on the receiving end too many times! ^o^). Lions are intelligent, and so is Kevin: If one of them doesn't want him in their space, he'll respect that. They trust him, and enjoy his company, and have no reason to kill him. Kevin has a familial bond with the lions in his Sanctuary, developed over years and years of caring for them. It's not like he just goes willy-nilly into enclosures with any old captive lions that he doesn't have a respectable relationship with.

Now, if a stranger were to just waltz in there with them, of course that wouldn't end well, as the lions would feel the need to assert themselves over an intruder to defend their territory and pridemates. If you don't respect Nature and get hurt, that doesn't make Nature "vicious man-killers".

Perspective: Some of the most dangerous animals in the world don't have claws or fangs. ;p (see pg41)

On this note, as I often see reporters and commentors using the word "tame": Kevin never ever claims his lions are tame. You will get hurt, or killed, if you don't respect that lions in parks are wild animals that are habituated to humans, therefore not afraid of humans. Habituated - not "domesticated". Captive lions are NOT "tame". (In the videos you can quite plainly see there are "wild animal" warnings all over his Sanctuary.) Now, imagine if this lioness didn't like you. ^,^



Kevin does not file down their teeth. ^,^ Some people make me laugh with how silly they can be. Negative people see media with animals with blunt fangs and jump to negative conclusions, or maybe are just trying to get others to. The fact is, predators chew on a lot of hard bone: Their teeth naturally wear down over time and can even get broken. Pet owners should be no stranger to this. The photos that prompt the accusations are of older animals with naturally worn down teeth. - And, believe me, even blunt-looking fangs can still do a lot of damage.

Ah, and the tooth necklace he wears is not a trophy: It's a baby tooth from Vayetse, and a very rare find and memento. I remember in my youth I had found a baby tooth of my cat and wish I still had it. At the time I had thought it really cool but had no idea how rare that was, that I would never see another. I do have a few baby teeth from horses that I came across, though (and a grasshopper exoskeleton, and a bird skull ^,^)... but I digress. ;p

In this video of the hyena, Kevin clearly shows the difference between young pointy teeth and the well-worn ones of an elder.

shows flehmen grimace

lion's tongue info

an older lioness yawning
- love that tongue! ^o^

Geena's mouth

more on Geena's teeth

Georgie's mouth

Icarus' older teeth with filling - also enclosure size and breeders who claim they keep all the cubs/lions after they grow up


Bobcat's - at 12yrs old I think

20yr old Tau

great one of younger Yame's sharp chompers ^_^

hyena jaws

inside a lion's mouth

one of Vayetse's girls

Vayetse - lol "...Don't touch me." ^.^

he does not declaw, either

more on claws

say ahhh


Aslan's check-up in 360
have fun moving the view around,
you can watch the vet's view on one of the walls ^_^

GoPro: dental surgery at the Sanctuary
~*~ "director's cut" of it ~*~
join the member's channel ($5/mo) for
longer, more in-depth videos like this ^_^
old man Tau's heart health

Bongani's injury / surgery

Bongani update

Naiobi's eyes
Naiobi's eye surgery
Naiobi's surgery continued
Naiobi recovered and happy

Amy's spay operation 2017 ~ part 1 ~ part 2

5 laproscoptic spays in one day

Gandalf's ingrown dew claws
Gandalf's ingrown dew claws part 2

Delta's dew claw removed



critical part of ecosystem - and so cute!

so misunderstood!

6 hyena to be released


naughty hyena

"Meet the Hyenas" eating a gopro

how to get the gopro back

inside a hyena's mouth

hyena bite strength

hyena quick facts

hyena are crazy

Nicolas origin

hyena rivalry, born with eyes open and with teeth already in

resistant to parasites, clan heirarchy, and more

Bongo and Ajep's clan

Geena's clan

hyena vs Wild Coolers

striped hyena

Smithsonian with Kevin on hyena
hyena heiarchy
testing scent marking language, and has more with lions too

Nicolas, George & Yame, and hyena insights

Nicolas relocating, and dealing with storm damage

final walk with Nicolas

treed leopard


Duke and Kahn
territory and diet

Nikita and Coal

moving the leopards

they make their own rules, too - and insight about their coloring

have their own schedules ^_~

looks like velvet

black leo on the mind, uh, head




a lot out there is myth

like a shadow

bath by leopard

facts about black leopard coloring


...notice he doesn't take walkies with the leopards. Being more independent types, they would probably take off and cause trouble - if they aren't immediately poached first. (Such quick lethality! I think I'd rather meet up with a lion than a leopard in the bush. ...because if a leopard hasn't avoided you, you've peaked it's interest in some way. They're not as indifferent to human presence in the wild as lions tend to be. ^,^)

Kevin's relationship with his animals makes it easier to treat them & keep them in top condition ~ and allows stress free lion research. Too, the stimulation of research projects and going to film shoots and such are welcome and exciting to the animals that get to be involved, and they look forward to the interactions and exploring new places.

hunting behaviour

why the walks

Meg and Amy chillin' after a satisfying walk

walkies is a win-win for lions and visitors
walkies part 2

have no reason to "run away"

elephant poo is enriching too! ^o^

so excited! and scents and changes and why they stay

Bobcat and Gabby - kitty up a tree ^_~

Bobcat and Gabby - lionesses like to lead and rotation benefits

Bobcat and Gabby

even Gabby picks up litter to help the environment :D

love citronella spray

musical enclosures - how to play and benefits

part 2 they make their own rules

loading tips

musical enclosures again - notice how when he mentions elephants destroyed an enclosure, he doesn't say 'let's go kill them all'. ^_~
(...I would have, just to be a smart aleck. ;p)

musical enclosures benefits

more musical enclosures fun

patience, patience

~*~ The Lion Shuffler ~*~

Thor's pride enjoying a walkie

how NOT to behave


volunteer enrichment - also about habitat loss and population isolation causing inbreeding

feeding and cleaning of enclosures

volunteer work at sanctuary - mentions about lion farming

setting up cameras

a volunteer's perspective

Volunteering at animal sanctuaries in Africa is sure to be a great experience, if you are able to. Just be sure you help out an authentic sanctuary and not a breeding farm or cub petting park. Cub petting facilities WILL lie and claim the cubs were orphaned and such, but the reality very most likely is that the mothers are nearby being overbred, and the owners had taken the cubs from her so that she would have more sooner. They will also claim they are breeding "to repopulate the wild". As we've addressed above: THERE IS NOWHERE WILD TO PUT THEM. They are breeding for profit, plain and simple and have no intention of giving those cubs long enriched lives.

It may seem really cool to play with the little darlings, but know you: They are destined to become a head on someone's wall or bones shipped off to Asia. It's much, much cooler to go on safari, or even watch videos, and see them frolicking and behaving naturally in the wild. You won't learn how lionesses share care of each others cubs, or what wonderful fathers male lions are, by sitting in a cage with a cub stripped of its family.

Kevin's Wildlife Sanctuary in South Africa has a volunteer program that would be a great place to start. ^_~

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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Thanks Neocities!