In some of his interviews, Richardson uses a few unique phrases that really capture his love and dedication towards protecting the lions and the rest of the animals
“You start with a bucket empty of experience and a bucket full of luck”
Richardson describes his work with lions and all other dangerous predators as a product of spending more time with them especially when they are young. By taking note of their temperaments and behaviours, Richardson was able to form strong bonds and survive in close proximity with them. Undoubtedly, this cannot be learnt from a textbook but only through experience and a bit of luck.
“They are 99% chill and one per cent kill.”
Lions usually like to sleep and unwind and hence they are very relaxed cats. But, that does not mean that they are not dangerous and can easily be agitated. They can turn violent if they are irritated or frightened by something and hence, being surrounded by lions all the time means that there are certain signs that cannot be ignored. He also mentioned that his style of interacting with lions has come out from years of working with them and not just instantly.
“Leave a legacy behind of saving wild lions”
His ultimate goal for his conservationist efforts; He does not want the lion population to go into extinction or only be in captivity. He wants to be able to help the wild lions and reduce poaching and human encroachment.
“All animals need love and affection”
He states that animals just like humans need love and affection. A lion cub or a hyena cub needs to be taken care of like how human babies are taken care of. That is the secret between forming relationships with the animals. They need constant love and affection from their caregivers, especially the captive big cats as they are sociable cats.
“Only take what you need”
He always emphasises that being with animals have taught him one of the most important lessons which is not to exploit nature, only use what you need. This is a lesson that he also wants to teach his own children.
“A lion is not a possession; it’s a sentient being”
He highlights that just because the lions are being held captive, they are not anyone’s possession and should not be treated with aggression or beaten by sticks. They are sociable cats and hence, by caring for them and treating them properly is an essential part of developing bonds with them. By developing these bonds, Richardson is able to reap benefits, which no other human have been able to, like the ones shown in the video: