With a title like “lion whisperer,” animal behaviorist Kevin Richardson has seen his share of hair-raising adventures. The latest of which appears to be the South African being stalked by two lions in the wilds of Africa. They quickly approach and leap onto the zoologist for…hugs?

Lions can be temperamental creatures prone to swinging moods – not unlike their smaller, domesticated cousins. Richardson will be the first to acknowledge the danger in working with these big cats but he says the reward is more than worth it.

“Despite conceptions, lions are not mindless man eaters,” Richardson told News Digital Media. “They’re actually very tolerant of people if you respect them. I’ve developed very intimate relationships with my lions over fifteen and a half years, and it’s based on mutual respect.”

The video was taken in cooperation with GoPro for the launch of their Hero 3+. Whatever other capabilities the camera has, GoPro can now reasonably add “lion-friendly” to that list.

Richardson is currently working at his game reserve in Pretoria as well as the Kingdom of the White Lion reserve near Johannesburg, which houses several dozen lions.

Image screenshot of video by GoProCamera on YouTube

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3 thoughts on “Video: GoPro Records Lions Approaching Man for Hugs

  1. These are not the ‘wilds of Africa.’ Richardson’s lions are kept in very large enclosures where they are fed by humans from infancy and raised essentially as pets in order to be viewed up close by tourists.

    1. Maybe so, but ole papa or mama lion could take him out very easily. We had a neighbor that raised a dog from puppyhood, but one day it turned on their child and severely mauled him. Think what a lion could do if something provoked it!!

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