This is the really astonishing video footage has been released showing a South African conservationist known as the ‘Lion Whisperer’ cuddling a lioness he rescued at birth.
In nerve-wracking slow-motion footage, shown on Daily Mail UK, Kevin Richardson is seen standing in water as an enormous lion jumps towards him from the reeds in a seemingly predatory attack.
But the lion – one of two rescued by Richardson when they were rejected their by their mother – is actually just diving in for a cuddle.
In the GoPro video, he explains that he has an ‘unspoken language’ with the beasts – Meg and Amy.
He said in the video: ‘When I call Meg and she comes swimming and I see in her face, “if I come to you are you going to catch me?”.
‘She looks at me, I look at her – and we know. That’s trust.’
Between clips of Kevin stroking the lions, he says that their mother abandoned them in a ‘ditch’.
He said that rather than see them in cages, he preferred to give them a chance of a better quality of life.
So he took them out of their enclosures and put them in a wildlife park with other animals.
But if he and the lions had not had their ‘history’, Kevin believes they would have ended up ‘in some shape or form’ as part of the lion hunting market.
He added: ‘Definitely, in my mind, they were destined for a bullet.’
His video is titled ‘For the Love of Lions’.
It is dedicated to Cecil the Lion, a 13-year-old male who lived in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe before he was killed by an American big game hunter in 2015.
Watch the video below: