We love animals here at Little Rockit, whether they be large or small, on land, air, or in the water, we just love them. We try to make it our business to help where we can, and really respect those who dedicate their entire lives to animal welfare.
At home our little kitty cats enjoy a romp in the outdoors, a meal awaiting their return, several cozy cushions to lie upon, and endless paper work to sit back and lick their privates on. Heck, we even give them a special colour co-ordinated box to do their business in, and we pick that sh*t up!
Although at home we may be overrun with our furry friends, in the wild it is a different story.
In the wild our kitty cat’s relatives are finding their natural habitat destroyed and commandeered for human purposes. Vast lengths of land have been bought up, turned over, and converted into farm land to feed our many bellies. Once we’ve been fed of course, we need somewhere to live, and yet more land is required to provide accommodation, shops and hospitals. The human race is an ever expanding business, and business is killing our wild habitats.
Kevin Richardson, an animal behaviourist from South Africa, is one of those people who we respect. After many years working at the ‘Lion Park’ in Broerderstroom, South Africa, Kevin became wise to the fact that this private ‘sanctuary’ was in fact no sanctuary at all.
Richardson has worked extensively with animals in South Africa. Beginning within the 1600 acre, ‘Lion Park’ a private facility developed by Rodney Fuhr. After constant visits to the Lion cub’s petting area at the park, it was obvious he had a unique affinity with the animals, and Fuhr offered Richardson a job.
Almost all animal facilities within South Africa contribute directly to the Canned hunting industry. Canned hunting is a term used to explain the systematic breeding and sale of lion cubs into habitats for consumerism, and ultimately hunting.
Lion cubs are held at a sanctuary until they reach adulthood. At the sanctuary they are often put on show, tourists can pay to enter a cub exhibit, and stroke, cuddle feed and play with these beautiful babies. Often volunteers from all over the world pay a fee to travel, stay, and look after the cubs, whole heartedly believing they are doing good. Volunteers, along with the public are told that these cubs will eventually be released into the wild, or perhaps moved to another private facility where they will live out the rest of their lion days.
This however, is simply not true. Kevin Richardson witnessed this first hand. After working within the Lion Park for many years, and spending all of his time with the lion cubs he formed strong bonds. It was one day when two of the lions he had formed the closest bonds with were gone, that he started to ask questions. He pleaded with the owner of Lion Park, Rodney Fuhr, and he was allowed to go and retrieve his two lions. Upon the collection of the lions from their new ‘home’ Richardson encountered many lions alongside one another, in breeding pens. He had come across a lion cub mill. Here is where female lions that had reached breeding age were sold, bred, and before they got to meet their babies, the cubs would be sold to zoos and facilities, sometimes worldwide. Once sold, the cubs would reach adulthood, and the process would begin again, females to breeding mills, and males to hunting facilities where tourists can pay to shoot the often drugged creatures in enclosed spaces. The ‘hunting’ tourists get to keep the pelt, and other parts of their kill to take home as a souvenir of their ‘accomplishment’.
After retrieving his two lions from the breeding facility, Richardson began to realise the real plight of the animal industry in South Africa. In 2005, upon the creation of a movie by Lion Park owner Rodney Fuhr, about the life of a wild lion, Richardson negotiated a deal with Fuhr, that he would waiver his movie fee in order to gain ownership of a number of the Lion Park’s menagerie.
Now, in the public eye for his unique bond with animals, Kevin Richardson aims to highlight the issues surrounding canned hunting, and the animal industry in general. Richardson is very clear about his relationship with the animals in his care. As they are all hand reared by humans it is obvious that they are not wild, and in order to save them from humanities gluttony he gave them a private reserve where they can live out the rest of their days.
A Go Pro production crew followed Richardson on his reserve alongside Lions and Hyenas, and it sure is a sight to behold.
With beautiful editing, and awesome shots it really is a wonderful video, we spoke about the great musical choices in another blog here.
The plight of animals around the globe is severe. Fortunately there are people the world over who are dedicating their time and resources to help out. Kevin Richardson is just one, you can take a look at what he’s up to on his website by clicking here.
Another individual who we have great respect for is Ric O’Barry and his son Lincoln O’Barry to develop a facility for the rehabilitation of mistreated dolphins. Visit Ric O’Barry’s website by clicking here.
Join in on the campaign against canned hunting here.