Lion whisperer’s dream becomes all-out cat-fight

2013-06-07 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s “lion whisperer” is now shouting after a venture with a human partner turned catty in a few months.

Kevin Richardson, a wildlife behaviour expert, recently established the Kingdom Wildlife Sanctuary on Alan Friedland’s land in Sandown. They were the sole shareholders.

The company aimed to manage a reserve of 27 lions and other predators, while generating income from a lodge and the filming of lions on Friedland’s grounds.

Richardson said he and a Mr Fuhr owned the lions and other animals and had managed to “break even” on a reserve called Kingdom of the White Lion Tourism, a claim he made on National Geographic Wild, and where Friedland first saw him. He said Friedland approached him to move the animals to his property in Sandown, which was done in December last year.

The high court in Pretoria has now liquidated the company after Richardson said in court papers it could not service its debts, that Friedland had tried to bribe officials for permits, and had repeatedly threatened his life and family, and had wrongly accused him of dishonesty.

Friedland denied these accusations and stated he had never offered anyone money to get the necessary permits for the lions.

Friedland claimed it was Richardson who had hired “two well-known assassins to intimidate him”.

Richardson said he has lost all trust in Friedland.

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