Part of the Pride

This fine Caturday we bring you South African Animal Behaviorist Kevin Richardson. He runs animal private reserve and is accepted as a cub sitter:

Sharpei Sharpé Sharpy sent in the video, Marilyn T. over at National Geographic sent in the cub photos by Beverly Joubert.



  1. just woke up, watched this clip, will be in a good mood for the rest of the day! 🙂

  2. Teresa in KC says:

    Trust….is a beautiful thing.

  3. Remember kids, don’t try fuzzling a 700 pound lioness at home.. this is for PROFESSIONALS! 😉
    *pawpaw dozing man*

  4. So. CUTE! And the cubs are adorable, too. 😉

  5. As they say in SA, amazink! [and vest for ‘fast’ and hyey for ‘here’ ;-)]
    Hope to see more of them, but the closing footage with the hand/over paw game and the napping ‘Daniel and the Smiling Lioness’ footage was even better than the mom’s tailio in cub’s mouf shot.
    Thanks 🙂

  6. Best. Catnap. Ever.

  7. The love and trust between the man and the momma is amazing! It brought a tear to my eye.

  8. Awww! Sign me up for that job!

  9. I second Mia…and I’ve seen this a few times. Absolutely LOVE it and wish I had his job because it looks like he loves what he is doing and is loved in return.

  10. Awww. My kitty (the 10 lb. kind) LOVED the hand-over-paw game!

  11. I think the white South African accent may be the weirdest way of speaking English there is, with the exception of how we usedta tawk heah in Brooklyn. :mrgreen:

  12. The tussle with the tailio at 1:45ish is adorable. What an amazing video! Such a trusting lioness.

  13. Oh and in other lion-related news, one of our 7 new lion cubs at the National Zoo was named Aslan by 2 of the kid-actors from the Chronicles of Narnia during a visit this week.

  14. Soooooo cute. Love the cub playing with momma’s tail.

    Also: Lord of the Rings soundtrack win!

  15. i am in awe!

  16. Martha in Washington says:

    So many things to love about this!
    1) Lions!!
    2) Cute South African man with beautiful accent (another candidate for the Men of CO Calendar)!
    3) Lions!!
    4) Mom has built in baby toy!
    5) Lion licks man and man enjoys it!
    6) Daddy lion “purring” at babies!
    6) LIONS!!
    7) Cat naps!
    8) OMG LIONS!!!
    In fact, what is there NOT to like about this?!

  17. Two thoughts:

    1. “And the lion shall lay down with the lamb.” Won’t that be a perfect day.

    2. Looks like we have another submission for the Cute Guys of Cuteoverload Calendar!!

  18. Two Marthas = two great minds. 🙂 Hi Martha in Washington! *waves*

  19. Queen of Dork says:

    Look how huge the paws are in the last pic! And balancing on a rock, too!

  20. Martha in Washington says:

    Ummm…apparently you can’t do a number eight and a close parentheses together to just be a number eight with parentheses.

  21. Martha in Washington says:

    Always looking for cute guys for calendars!
    *waves back* @ the other Martha 🙂

  22. I hear they have lions in Kenya.

  23. Mary (the first) says:

    This is Mary in Washington and my second thought was also “cute men of C.O. calendar!!” (First thought, of course, OMG LIONS!)

  24. Martha in Washington says:

    And Tigers!

  25. Mary (the first) says:

    The end of video with man and lioness napping got me a little teary! (Also, feeling kind of bad that I get annoyed at my under-6-lb. kitteh when she jumps on me in bed.. it could be SO much worse!) The whole video, lioness, cubs and man.. beautiful.

  26. Martha in Washington says:

    @Mary (the first): Hidee Neighbor! *waves*

  27. Martha in Washington says:

    Obvious typo here. I think you meant “it could be SO much BETTER!”

  28. At our local Walmart, deep in the heart of small-town north Texas, there is a cashier who is from SA! We got into a conversation with him one night as he was checking out our groceries. Very nice guy. The way it started was when he held up a yellow squash and announced, “I’m not from around here. What do you call this?” A few minutes later I said, “Since you brought it up…where are you from?” I’d thought he was Scottish at first because the way he burred some of his words, but turns out he was South African. Small world.

    And this video is so sweet it nearly made my teeth fall out. What was the music? I think it’s from one of the “Lord of the Rings” movies.

  29. Yes! Thank you! I knew I recognized it.

  30. Well, “OMG LIONS!!!” together with a “cool” face works, too. 8)

  31. I love the part at 1:22 when Mom’s Velcro-sandpaper tongue licks a cub and he is lifted into the air by it. ADORABLE!

  32. Aww, you can tell the mommy’s being really gentle with him — love how he’s not all showy about it too, giving them space if they need it.

  33. I believe we were promised a CO hunks calendar? C-Heroes? Males and Tails? Men and Chiens? Beaus and Nose? Abs and Labs? Hommes and Poms?

  34. Video voted #1 by me!

    So many favorite things all combined in one: hot guy, awesome accent, lions, cubs, LotR soundtrack! ❤

  35. Great rhyming titles! French is so handy for that.

  36. Mamma kittehs are the bestest!

  37. I very rarely comment on posts but i just had to for this one! cute cubs and a hot guy with a great accent! the entire time i was watching the video i had a smile on my face ahh a great way to start the day off.

  38. fish eye no miko says:

    IIRC, it’s the piece titled “Concerning Hobbits”. It’s for all the cute scenes in the Shire near the beginning of the first film.

  39. Woo Hoo!! That’s enough cute and Awwww and WOW to keep me going for a while!

  40. LisaHoneychan says:

    This video is fantastic! Yeah, the cubs are cute (aren’t all babies, really?) but the total trust and (yes, i’ll say it) and LOVE between the cute behaviourist and the lioness gets me all teary-eyed.

    I know it’s not always a good thing to anthropomorphise our ani-pals, but i’m sorry….The lioness just adores the man, and is so very gentle with him.

    Oh and yeah..i’d rub and kiss all over him too, Mrs. Lion! 😛

  41. Yes, we have another candidate for the Men of ResCute Calendar!

  42. I’m dead of cute overload. This proves that there is perfection in this world. The clip at 2:30 is amazing. The lioness’s paw on his head is incredible. And my 8lb cat loves to chew on my hair too.

  43. This video was unprecedented in the amount of “OH MY GAAAAAHHHHDDDDD”s it elicited from me, throughout the whole thing. I’m so charmed!

  44. Why is this not MY life?

  45. Love “Hommes & Poms”

  46. I loved how she was trying to CLIMB into his lap! now that’s a BIG lapcat to cuddle with.

    I want a nap with a nice lion (one that one’s decide to eat me for a snack)

  47. gah! typo (one that won’t decide to eat me for a snack) is what I meant

  48. Or for hobbits, if the soundtrack has a say in things.

  49. but sadly no bears! 8)

  50. Sometimes it isn’t really a typo but the auto correct on your computer… mine loves to change flower into flour.

  51. Hommes and Poms? Is that Australian?

  52. So many of you mention the Men of CO calendar – why can’t I order it at Amazon? Is it a Members-Only-Edition or something? If so, I wanna be a Member. Wher do I sign?

  53. I love how big cats and house cats have the same play modes.

  54. My favourite part: 2:35, where they play “MY HAND-PAW APPARATUS IS ON TOP NO MINE IS WAIT NO MINE”.

  55. O NO He/ She/ It DI-unt!!! says:

    I keep tryin’ to tell you peeps, it’s a CONSPIRACY by the ‘pooters… policy statement follows:

    “Computers are NOT nice people.”

  56. O NO He/ She/ It DI-unt!!! says:

    “….and when she SAT AROUND (on the biped), she REALLY
    SAT AROUND (on the biped)!”!!

  57. What about babes of cuteoverload????!???1!! Seriously, there must be so many dedicated women rescuing and curing for animals. I want equal (at least) representation of my gender — the gender that seems to make up at least 80% of the cuteologists on this site. Babes of Cuteoverload for one calender, Beaus of Cuteoverload for another — how about it, powers that be. If you want to make SURE to stay out in front of Betty White and Dibert, you can triple your calendars and triple those odds.

  58. –caring for —

  59. Oh my.


  60. It is nice to know good people such as Kevin Richardson are in the world.

  61. It is indeed from “LotR”, and it’s perfect music for such a wonderful vid.

  62. potential lunch….

  63. Queen of Dork says:

    I miss my cat. 😦

  64. StormCat42 says:

    Oh gosh… This past summer, I was given a gift of a trip to a Tiger preserve here in South Carolina… To sit and hold a Tiger cub was a “Bucket List” item of mine and I was completely in tears when it finally happened… With the moderator’s permission, I’d like to post the link to the video, as I’d like to share my experience… Not sure how to do that, so I’ll post it and hope that the Mod Gods will help me out…

  65. crrrazycatlady says:

    This was me, too. I was watching it through teary eyes. Animals are incredible! This is a beautiful video; thank you!

  66. Queen of Dork says:


  67. StormCat42 says:

    *blush* Thank you… I will go back next year…It was such an amazing place and I was truly moved by it…

  68. Damn, shoulda been C. O. ‘s Heroes.
    And while I’m at the plate: Cops and Lops + Chippendalios and Tailios for the bunfanciers (see what I did there?), and for the C.O. de grass:
    Firefighters ‘n’ Slow Lorusers: just put your hands in the air, and SMILE.

  69. I too play the hand on paw game, except unlike the video, my paw dominates the cats.

  70. Queenie, what happened?

  71. You’ve been reading fantasy books again!

  72. Queen of Dork says:

    Theresa: (And I’m not trying to be a bummer here at all), but he got pretty bad and I had to have him put down on December 5th. He was not doing at all well. At all. so… Anyway, we miss him dreadfully every day but we know he’s not going to be in pain. So that’s good 🙂 That’s good.

  73. Tail noms. 😀

  74. Teho!
    And wouldn’t that tail nom make an awesome screen-captured avatar.

  75. What an awesome adventure! We swam with the dolphins for my daughter’s 10th birthday, but it was totally orchestrated by the trainers so no real interacting went on. She would absolutely freak out if she knew this was possible!!!

  76. Two thoughts:

    1. Do NOT try this at home.
    2. I WANT this job!!!

  77. I”m so sorry for your loss. 😦

  78. I predict disaster. Kevin Richardson is just noms for a big tiger.
    sowwy! I know it’s nuffy.

  79. Queen of Dork says:

    I’ve always wanted to do that…swim with dolphins. Very cool that you had a chance to do that! Sweet! 🙂

  80. I just looked at the cub in the last picture, went “Aww, cute”. Read the hovertext, then looked at the paws, as it suggested.

    I was all ZOMG! THE PAWS!!

  81. StormCat42 says:

    Oh QOD, I’m so sorry…

  82. Stephanie, I am so sorry. I know how much you loved the little booger. I still miss my Stinky every day. It is a terrible decision to have to make. We’re never ready to let them go.

  83. What an amazing experience that must have been for you!

  84. Queen of Dork says:

    No, never. Thanks, you guys.

  85. kibblenibble says:

    A hug for you. I had to put Isabella down December 8th, so I can empathize with you. You are right, he’s no longer in pain. Hang in there.

  86. kibblenibble says:

    Ooops, I meant October 8th. My brain malfunctioned, sorry.

  87. I recognized it, too. Yay!

  88. Well geez…as if I wasn’t already kinda sniffly from the first video. *snif* *sob* How lucky are you??! That’s just incredible.

  89. if you think THAT’s dangerous, you should try to remove my six pound cat from my pillow when I try to go to bed. Or try to leave the house without feeding her.

    And seriously, the Hobbiton theme music?

  90. Waves. Hi Theo!

  91. Heh. Could do.

  92. I’m sorry for you loss. You know that you did the right thing for them, even though it’s painful for you.

  93. Queen of Dork says:

    Hi Theo! We wuvs our widdle, biddle Teho, moochie-poo. Yes, we do! Yes us does. And we wuvs our Jaye-iepoo, too!
    *runs away from Sharpy really, really fast*

  94. That final couples second in the video said it all for me. How precious.

  95. I don’t know nuffin bout cuddlin no lions but I wanna cuddle that handsome man.

  96. That was my favorite part too! XD

  97. that’s the screenshot i included when i sent to meg. i think the brainwashing is beginning to take.

  98. see, theo? see how they treat me?

  99. StormCat42 says:

    Think of I asked Santa to put that qte guy in my Stocking, he would? I mean, I been good this year and eberthing!!!

  100. Yes, we’re all individuals . . .
    (I’m not!)

  101. awwwww! Love the two of them napping together at the end!

  102. awwwww! Love the end where the two of them are napping together!

  103. Queen of Dork says:


  104. JUST GIVE ME THE DUDE and I’ll leave quietly. No one needs to get hurt here.

  105. Flip you for him?

  106. Queen of Dork says:

    A hug to you too kibblenibble. I’m sorry about Isabella. It’s so heartbreaking, isn’t it? I’m hugging you and I’m missing your Isabella along with you.

  107. LUCKIEST MAN ON EARTH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  108. I think it is from the Lord of the Rings movies. I think it’s “Concerning Hobbits” from the first movie, but I’m not totally sure sure.

  109. Mary (the first) says:

    Howdy! *waving back but you can’t see me for all the rain*

  110. Mary (the first) says:

    well… I do love my cat.. and the 6 lbs. vs. 600 or whatever.. better for my over all health… maybe the best would be to have both little kitteh to jump on me, and huge lioness to cuddle next to. Yes, I’ve decided, that’s what I want from Santa!

  111. kibblenibble says:

    Thanks, Q! 🙂

  112. Queen of Dork says:

    To me, the best of all of those books was The Hobbit. I like to have two breakfasts a day if I can manage it as did Bilbo. And adventures can be fun while scary. Especially when in the company of cranky dwarves.

  113. Martha in Washington says:

    Have him drop off one at my house too, please. To go with my 7-pounder.

  114. This will be a perfect video to watch when feeling sad. Instant endorphin rush. 🙂

  115. Martha in Washington says:

    Yes, WOW! What else is there to say?! Just…WOW!

  116. {{{Steph}}} – Sorry to hear about your Sam; I had a feeling things were not good. As other peeps have said he is out of pain and things will get easier as time goes on. I still think of Hon Glad, and if I were an actor and I had to do a crying scene, I’d only have to think of Gladys.

  117. Rude.

    Love the lions; especially the shot at the end. AWWWH.

  118. Theo – Christmas furlough ? You must be a four star General by now, watch out Petraeus 🙂

  119. Now girls; no unseemly pushing. Actually if you want to meet him, just send me a cheque made out to cash 🙂

  120. Man…that last shot. *sniff* Perfection.

    (Plus a link to Christian the lion at the end. Waah.)

  121. Biggest lapcat ever. 🙂

  122. I have a 2 pound rat who loves to pounce (well he tries) and cuddle and sleep on my lap, that works for me!

    oh, hey, hi! (waves thru rain from under umbrella wearing high water boots)

  123. Can I have one? Really, I mean one of anything in this video including lion-guy, please. Everything is just too adorable.

  124. Queen of Dork says:

    This is the most compassionate neighborhood in the world. You peeps are just the most caring people ever. You are all the best.

  125. Did anyone else tear up and go *sniff*?
    And yes, the FEEEET!

  126. Queen of Dork says:

    (by the way, Theo…I meant to type smoochie-poo, not moochie-poo. Didn’t mean to make it sound like I think you’re a mooch).
    *smooches to Theo*

  127. Good Lord!

  128. MANY hugs to QoD. 😦

  129. Steph, my heart goes out to you. If it is any consolation, Sam-kitty is now free from pain, romping about fields eternally green, trying to catch elusive mice and colorful and always-out-of-reach birdies. He may have even met my beloved Sasha – she always did have a thing for handsome toms, even after spaying…



  130. Holy cow! I was moved to tears myself – first of all, for that amazing experience of a lifetime and secondly, that someone loves you enough to give you that gift. Then when I saw you lovin’ on a baby orangutan, my heart just stopped. How freaking awesome is that!!!! *swoon*

  131. O NO He/ She/ It DI-unt!!! says:

    That’s my fave part too.

  132. O NO He/ She/ It DI-unt!!! says:

    @ HG:
    ….I see, what you’re up to !!!
    (shifty eyes)

  133. Me too!

  134. O NO He/ She/ It DI-unt!!! says:

    @ Steph:
    I am praying for you, T and for SK several times daily. I’m imagining SK and Salinger in Rainbow Heaven, at a card table, playing poker and smoking really stank cee-gars ….

    (God and St Peter don’t visit that section of Rainbow Heaven)

  135. BEST. JOB. EVAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  136. Queen of Dork says:

    Thankfully. Because as well as I knew my SamKitty, he’s probably not only smoking cigars and playing poker, but he’s most likely also cheating shamelessly.

  137. There’s a cat you don’t want to be making biscuits in your lap!
    It would bring cuteness and pain to a new dimension…

  138. So sorry to hear it!

  139. Gah, I love the tail-nommage! And how gently momma lion puts her paw on the man’s head.

    This guy has a great book called – surprise surprise – Part of the Pride, which also has some great bits about hyenas and other African predators. Check it out!

  140. Okay I think that Cute Overload has officially outdone itself with this one. Is there already a Rule of Cuteness that Cute Guys With Accents Interacting With Cute Animals Is Cute?

  141. That kind of trust & affection between humans & animals was the way it was suppose to be, and will be that way soon.

    btw, we had 16″ of snow here yesterday….and it’s not even winter yet.yikes!

  142. Hon Glad, it’s called “block leave” – it’s offered to damn near everybody in the US military. So NYAAHHHH. 😛

  143. @Sharpy – yeah, hon, all yours. 😉

  144. …or even, say, a lion. As it were.

  145. [snif] …I miss home. 😦

    (Though, let’s be honest, not for all the shoveling.)

  146. Yes; I’m somewhat uncomfortable with all these calls for a “cute guys of Cute Overload” calendar or the like. It’s still objectification, which I dislike. If there were some sort of human male parade, it would only be fair to do the same for female humans.

    While we’re at it, how about a male counterpart for “cats ‘n racks”?

    And more spiders. They can be cute, too.

  147. I am very jealous of this man. What a job that would be!

  148. Don’t know if you’re kidding, but if not, there isn’t actually a Men of CO calendar, it’s just something we’ve all been wishing for since the first Jamin post (man with monkey).

  149. Chicago Gal says:

    When’s the next flight to South Africa? Want to meet that man, see the reserve…
    Loved the last 10 secs of the video. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

  150. Emmberrann says:

    @QoD: Having lost my Mr. Picky in October, you have my every sympathy. I just suppose we get used to the pain. That never goes away completely, I think. I’m still not ready to host another kitty personality just yet.

  151. I love Caturday!

  152. Yes, holy cow! How lovely!

  153. Queen of Dork says:

    Emmberrann: Me either. 😦

  154. Watching that video, can’t help but smile … a lot!

  155. AWW 😦 I am so sorry to hear about the loss of those sweet kitties 😦 (Lots of BIG Cyber Hugs to all who lost a pet)

  156. Aww! I’m so jealous! I wanna cuddle a lion!

  157. Chris Griffin says:

    I think Santa’s gonna need a few of those guys for replicates… cause WOW do I need one, too!!

  158. I thought I was!

  159. I MUST find this man and marry him

  160. Not gonna lie… I teared up a little.

  161. Martha in Washington says:

    I think the end of the line is around the corner. 🙂

  162. Oh just a moment, something got in to my eyes……

    I love that last little bit. Paw on head, and then the little paw game, hand in mouf, and nappy time.

  163. I thought my phone was ringing, it’s my ringtone!

  164. No tigers either 😉

  165. omg! so cute and the lord of the rings music!!! i love it!
    i want a baby lion!!!!

  166. Yes! I was going to say that too – Momma has the same mannerisms as my leetle house kittehs… Cats is cats! All bea-ooo-tiful.

  167. Sending my hugs and thoughts too.

  168. That was absolutely beautiful, same here will be in a good mood all day!

  169. It’s been said…

    but I’m fairly certain he’s the sexiest man on earth.

  170. Unbe-LEEE-vable. That was gorgeous.

  171. um, yeah, when i was little growing up in south africa we got to feed baby lions via bottles and let me tell you, those paws are ENORMOUS. but back to what i really meant to say…i agree with all the votes for hottest dude on CO for Kevin. i mean, i would move back for that. totally serious.

  172. i sent it this video, too!!!

  173. sent “in,” i mean.

  174. I have watched this like 10 times now, since it was posted. I cannot get enough.

  175. WendyPinNJ says:

    OK, here’s what I want:

    1. That job!
    2. To cuddle with a lioness!
    3. To cuddle with THE CUBS!
    4. To marry that man!

  176. WendyPinNJ says:

    And possibly, not necessarily in that order!

  177. I just read Kevin Richardson’s book “Part of the Pride” about a week ago. It’s a fantastic read for anyone who loves big cats (or any animals). He’s a fantastic person who has lived a very interesting life working with Lions, Hyenas, and many other animals.

    Also, as strange as it sound, I think it helped me understand my puppy a little better.

  178. O NO He/ She/ It DI-unt!!! says:

    The Dude already GOT flipped, by the feline!!!! 🙂

  179. O NO He/ She/ It DI-unt!!! says:


    or did you mean to say, “the end of the……(drumroll) LION”?????

    (*stifled giggle*)

  180. marilynNYNC says:

    awwww…cute cub chewing on mama’s tail. That big ole cat will eat that guy some day….she’s already tasting him…..

  181. Amen to that! (Not the 16 inches of snow part.)

  182. Ha, ha…..

  183. Did that book happen to mention if he was available? Um, just curious… yeah that’s it.

  184. @StormCat42 – you really need to visit South Africa! not only could you meet Kevin Richardson in person, but we have another reserve where the trainer has hand reared a male Siberian (now 5yrs) and female Bengal (now 4 yrs) – both of which are gentle enough (not tame, as big cats can never be tamed) to take them for a walk – literally – with a leash and everything.
    Did it a couple months ago and was so awesome! they gentle enough that you can feed them meat with your hands!

  185. unfortunately he’s married – yes, ive already done the home work, lol!
    and just to make maters worse – shes really stunning!

  186. Kitten_Biscuit says:

    Cats big and small lick their hoomans all the time. Not for munchins, but for ownership and pride-belongings! No lioness is gonna leave her cubs alone with a critter she calls DINNER!

  187. well i think we should make that a new rule then P: i’m sure everyone here would approve it lol

  188. Hey, South Africans have a range of accents depending on the part of the country we come from – we don’t all sound like this. English speaking South Africans speak differently than Afrikaans speaking ones. Johannesburgers speak very fast and clip their vowel sounds. Natalians sound very much like upper class English nationals. Capetonians speak more slowly (lazy natural lifestyle among the vineyards, beaches, mountains, etc).