Kevin Richardson has the nickname “lion whisperer,” and for good reason.
The man has worked with lions and other wild animals in sanctuaries on a constant basis since 1998. It’s at the point where he talks to some lions as if they were dogs—that’s how comfortable he is with them.
Kevin Richardson is very friendly with many wild animals on his sanctuary in South Africa.
And when he gets to see his friends, it isn’t hard to tell the love is reciprocated.
Richardson not only wants to care for animals in general, but he wants to show the world that even wild animals such as lions and hyenas aren’t too different from us humans.
On one particular week in 2016, certain animals needed his help.
At his animal sanctuary near Pretoria, South Africa, Richardson and a team of highly trained veterinarians worked to find and repair any dental problems that the animals might have.
This batch of animals included nine lions, nine hyenas, and a couple of leopards as well.
Although these aren’t animals in particular that have always been the nicest to humans, Richardson knew that this would be necessary to help give them a better opportunity to live a healthy and pain-free life.
“If we have the opportunity to make their lives better by fixing their teeth, then why not?” Richardson said.
It was one of the most ambitious wild animal dental operations known to man. And of course, Richardson was in the middle of it all.
After all, he’s the one who can get close enough to most of these animals.
Richardson helped lure the animals into cages, where they could be anesthetized and moved to the dental operating area. In the end, many broken teeth were fixed, and many animals’ pain was eased; as a result they could more easily chew their food and enjoy every aspect of their lives.
And Richardson was definitely happy to see his friends doing better.
“I think if we each do what we can to help the animals, we’re going to get very far,” Richardson said.
Richardson seems to feel that this experience was about more than just fixing a few teeth for these animals.
The man’s goal seemed to be sharing a message about treating animals the way we would want to be treated, with compassion and trust.
It’s obvious that Richardson lives by these rules, and he encourages others to do the same, so that the world can be a better place.
With the video of the dental surgeries—now at over 7 million views: