As a young boy, Richardson spent his life in the neighbourhood of Orange Grove. He has one older brother and two twin sisters, his mother was born and raised in South Africa and his father was born in the United Kingdom. His father died when Richardson was thirteen years old. Even though he was sure he wasn’t going to be able to get a job working with animals, he went to college to study zoology and focused on marine biology rather than mammals.
Life with Lions
At the age of twenty-three, he was given the opportunity to work with two six month old lion cubs. He almost instantly fell in love with them and was hired for a part time job in a lion park near Johannesburg. To this day, he still works with the two grown lions, Tau and Napoleon, in his own Lion facility along with many other animals that he has known from birth. These include twenty-nine lions, several hyenas, jaguars and other African predators.
Even though Richardson makes working with big cats look easy and fun, he stresses to everyone who plans to follow in his footsteps. Working with these dangerous beasts is a constant threat. At any moment, Richardson could be torn to pieces or mauled by any of his “tamed” cats. For example, when two 400 pound lions that were in a good mood, played a little too rough, and jumped on top of him, he emerged with two broken ribs and his right arm, scratched from shoulder to elbow.
Every day, Kevin Richardson works to save and care for the near endangered big cats. His life is devoted to them and he stresses how much natural beauty the world would lose if they went extinct.