Apologies for the repeat but unable to write a fresh post for the next few days. This post about Kevin has been one of the most popular on Learning from Dogs.
Trust is both taught and learnt!
Thanks to Naked Capitalism, we posted an item on the 19th December about an unknown wild-life ranger working in the wildlife refuge area of Lanseria, South Africa. Here was one of the pictures included in that Post:
The Post finished with an appeal to anyone that knew the name of this Ranger. Many of you did and responded; thank you!
His name is Kevin Richardson and there is an interesting account of how he works and some of his ‘experiences’ in Revolution Magazine, luckily with online content. That article is here. It starts thus:
To do this he does not use the common methods of breaking the animal’s spirit with sticks and chains, instead he uses love, understanding and trust. With this unusual method of training he has developed some exceptionally personal bonds with his students. He sleeps with lions, cuddles newborn hyenas, swims with lionesses. Kevin can confidently look into their eyes, crouch to the their level and even lie down with them – all taboos in the normal world of wild animal handling – yet he doesn’t get mauled or attacked.
The article goes on to say that Kevin often works with the animals when they are very young. Thus he is demonstrating very powerfully that how we behave, especially with our children when they are young, creates the environment for building trust out of consistency of deed and thought. (By the way, do read some of the comments posted at the end of that Magazine article – some of them make for powerful reading.)
Luckily, thanks to this wired world we now live in, there is also video of Kevin available on YouTube. A quick search under Kevin Richardson on YouTube will quickly find a number of videos but here are two that I wanted to share with you.
The first will leave you speechless and possibly wet-eyed!
The second is a promotional video by Kevin encouraging us to buy his recent book – and why not!
This is a very remarkable person and it’s an honour to share this with you. We have so much to learn from all animals.