Meet Kevin Richardson (not the Backstreet Boy.) He’s a South African wildlife conservationist dubbed the “Lion Whisperer,” thanks to his unbelievably close relationships with many a large cat. To raise awareness for the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary, Richardson regularly posts GoPro footage of his work with animals, giving viewers the closest encounter they’re ever likely to have with a lion.
It’s harrowing, enthralling, mind-boggling, borderline-insane stuff. It’s also adorable.
In the clip below, Richardson delivers lions, cheetahs and hyenas to the neighbourhood dentist for checkups. He willingly goes into their enclosures and allows them to give him the heaviest, closest-to-death hugs on the planet. And he loves every second of it all. This guy is way beyond a manly man; he’s the goddamn King of the Jungle.
Watch Richardson work his magic below, and then try to convince yourself that your weekly CrossFit classes put you on his level. (Spoiler alert: they do not.)