A new video released by GoPro follows “lion whisperer” Kevin Richardson’s interactions with wild lions (and a few hyenas) in South Africa. The 15 minute video is packed with some pretty amazing footage and Kevin Richardson’s Wildlife Sanctuary is dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of lions and other carnivores in the wild and helping prevent their habitat loss via human encroachment and conflict (revenge killing), unscrupulous hunting, and illegal trade.
Just last year we reported that “the African lion population has decreased nearly 50 percent over the past 22 years, with fewer than 40,000 remaining today. Last March, a coalition of wildlife groups filed a petition with the U.S. Department of the Interior to list African lions as endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The ESA listing is still under review, meaning the species remains unprotected.”
Watching the video gives you a glimpse of what it might be like to be accepted by lions, but that’s not really something everyday people should aim to do. They may look cute and fluffy, but they’ve got claws. Richardson is engaging in some possibly dangerous activities with the animals, and is this all just marketing for a GoPro camera? Their slow-motion dog advertisement was a big hit, and we can hope that some people will learn more about lion conservation after seeing this video.