January 9, 2014

Loving lions, hugging hyenas.

36 comments:

Michael said...

This is outstanding! I love to be on the front end of tragedies, man/animal tragedies. Actually not tragedies. Comedies.

How long before lion-boy is mauled? How long before lion-boy learns that the lions do not love him, that they do not communicate with him and that they are not humans striving to be released from their lion outfits? Lions are not his friends.

We shall see.

Rob said...

One can't help thinking of "Grizzly Man." However, note that the two lions he embraces were raised by him from infancy, so the better parallel may be Elsa from Born Free.

Revenant said...

However, note that the two lions he embraces were raised by him from infancy

Any cat owners here ever been bitten or scratched by a cat they raised from infancy? :)

Ann Althouse said...

"One can't help thinking of "Grizzly Man." "

Yeah, that's the first thing I said, but the photograph was so cool.

Michael said...

Dolphins, lions, bears, chimps. They will eat you. They do not love you. They will drown you, bite your face off, crush your skull, your larynx. Man's profound narcissism. Stunning.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Archilochus said...

“Do two walk together,
unless they have agreed to meet?
Does a lion roar in the forest,
when he has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from his den,
if he has taken nothing?

John Lynch said...

Good camera commercial.

chuck said...

That guy has got a lot more nerve than I do. But it does give me an idea of an alternative plot for Jurassic Park IV.

A. Shmendrik said...

This is great, until it's not and the guy is eviscerated.

FullMoon said...
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sunsong said...

Love this guy. Definitely do not recommend anyone else do it.

madAsHell said...

I've been to Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa. I've slept in tents on the Serengeti, and the Masai Mara. I've paddled down the Zambezi river.

Lions are NOT endangered.

This man is a fool.

All that aside...a visit to Ndutu Lake in the Serengeti is highly recommended. The staff brings tea, and coffee at sunrise. You sip tea on the porch of the tent while the wildlife forages nearby.

El Camino Real said...

Anthropomorphic cuteness. Of course until it fails catastrophically.

They someone asks: How? Why?

William said...

Big cats can sense when you really love them. Siegfried & Roy were able to control their tigers simply by shows of affection,and their tigers responded in kind. Big cats are loving sensitive animals just like humans. You shouldn't create a negative stereotype of tigers based on one mauling. Look at ll the times they didn't get mauled.

EDH said...

I get the feeling all these animals came from some form of human raising or captivity. He emphasized the low animal census numbers. And the purported genetic desolation would help justify that kind of human intervention. I doubt these animals are full fledged pack hunters, or even come into contact with them. Are they receiving supplementary feeding? I saw no young.

Otherwise, the guy is completely out of his mind.

Cool close-up animal photography. Lots of questions.

jelink said...

I once had the giddy experience of wrestling with a 40-pound leopard kitten in Sri Lanka. His paws were larger than my hands, and he play-bit me with his big teeth just as a young tabbycat, or my Golden Retriever puppy, would.

So when I see this guy getting the love from fully-grown lions, I have a point-of-reference.

I wish him well.

eric said...

This isn't going to end well.

Brian A Davis said...

one day, A LION IS going the eat everything but his face.

Skeptical Voter said...

Ah well, people (or at least some people) love big cats--or think they do.

About 25 years ago a ~40 year old woman was jogging near Lake Tahoe. A mountain lion attacked and killed her. Now mountain lions will kill people on occasion--there have been two or three mountain lion fatalities in California since the Tahoe incident.

And of course those low information people known as newspaper reporters usually trot out the line "there have been no recorded mountain lion fatal attacks" . . .

I live in a subdivision in the Verdugo Hills 10 miles from LA City Hall as the crow flies. My house and lot back up to the brushline--i.e. the chapparal starts just past my backyard. Deer, coyotes and bobcats are frequently seen just behind my house--and sometimes in my front yard. In the last 10 days we've had two 85 pound dogs killed by mountain lions within a mile of my house. In the last year there have been half a dozen such attacks within 3 miles of my place.

But back to the "nice kitty" that everyone loves. The funniest line (well the lady jogger's death was a tragedy, but comedy can arise out of tragedy) was that of a lady writing to the Fish & Game Department. She said that if the game wardens could catch the mountain lion and put a collar on it, she would put a leash on the lion and lead it to a safe place.

No one asked the "killer" mountain lion what it thought about the scheme--other than maybe "she looks like dessert".

rhhardin said...

You have to go a long way to the social life of a lion, where for example a dog comes a long way to you.

It's the art of a trainer in the case of wild animals, which is why they're called wild.

Extreme tact is needed.

Carnifex said...

I can't add anymore to this thread...guy is nut job dead meat.

Rusty said...

This is one dry season away from tragedy.

chr1 said...

He raised those lions from cubs, so they're as tame as they may get.

Of course they're still wild, with strong, unpredictable killer instincts, but he knows them as well as anyone.

He may well end up dead one day like any other day, but it's his risk, If he can live and die by his decision to bring what he does to a wider audience, I'm fine with it. He knows a lot of what he's doing.

Grizzly Man was many ticks of crazy further than Kevin Richardson, and less experienced.

rehajm said...

..the ability to interact with these animals without having to make them submit through fear.

Wait- who's not making who submit through fear?

Curious George said...

Some day you will google his name and it will auto fill "lion shit"

Tank said...

I'd love to do that. Those big cats are the best. Of course, lions are lions, and at some point they're bound to do what lions do.

I'd love to do that. Roll around in the grass with a couple of giant lions. Just like playing with a kitten, except they might eat you.

That guy is cramming ten years of life into every year. If he gets eaten tomorrow, he's lived a great life already.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Manwich.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CStanley said...

The Grizzly Man comparison certainly comes to mind but I am surprised that no one has mentioned Christian the Lion. Google the YouTube vid if you've never seen it....gives me goosebumps every time I view it.

MarkW said...

Dolphins, lions, bears, chimps. They will eat you. They do not love you.

Those lions pretty clearly do love him (to the extent that lions are capable of it--and why not at least as much as your dog is?) But they may kill him someday anyway. And he knows it and is willing to take the risk.

I don't think what he's doing is as risky as a lot of the kinds of activities that people film with GoPro cameras, for example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIs6wEvpErI


Rusty said...

chr1 said...
He raised those lions from cubs, so they're as tame as they may get.

Of course they're still wild, with strong, unpredictable killer instincts, but he knows them as well as anyone.

He may well end up dead one day like any other day, but it's his risk, If he can live and die by his decision to bring what he does to a wider audience, I'm fine with it. He knows a lot of what he's doing.

Grizzly Man was many ticks of crazy further than Kevin Richardson, and less experienced.

And they're still tier one predators. Which means, when stressed, their instincts will always win out.

MathMom said...

I know a woman who rescues big cats, and has about 35 lions, tigers, leopards, cougars and bobcats. Some lions will let her in and enjoy a brisk tummy rub (she says tigers don't like their tummies rubbed). Some she takes a long pole in with her. Some she stays outside the cage. She knows which ones are safe enough, and which ones must be given a wide berth. I suppose that comes from long experience.

I did craniosacral therapy on one of her leopards, a geriatric black leopard who walked very slowly. When I was done, he started stalking me, and I was glad he was so slow because it gave me a chance to get out of the cage with all my limbs. Cool and scary at the same time.

AustinRoth said...

So, a little bit a of background research reveals that he only works with cats he has known since they were cubs, is absolutely aware of the dangers (he has indeed been bitten and scratched a few times), and clearly states that no one should try this based on his videos.

As he said, they don't show the years and years of work he does with each cat gaining their trust - we only see the end result.

So, he is knows it is dangerous, does not try this with truly wild cats (not raised by humans), and is doing what he feels is his life's work.

There are many other jobs that people risk their lives daily doing, so I say it is his business in the end.

Joe said...

Male lions are incredibly lazy. Which arguably makes them really smart. But, poke it with a stick and you risk life and limb.

MathMom said...

Male lions lie around doing nothing all day. When it gets dark, they change completely. I was present when the male lion that had been impersonating a bump on a log all day started trash-talking with the tigers after dark. The tigers start chuffing ("Your mother wears Army boots!"), which makes the male lion roar ("Oh, yeah??? Your mother dates the 7th Fleet!"). When you are close to him roaring, it feels like your eyeballs will burst.

It was frightening, even through the fence, to see how freaking powerful and fast, silent and deadly he would be if the fence wasn't there.

Male lions don't do much, but when they do, stand well back.