Stunning GoPro footage shows a big cat conservationist nicknamed 'The Lion Whisperer' forming a moving bond with two lionesses rejected by their mum at birth and "destined for a bullet".
Kevin Richardson is seen stroking lions Meg and Amy - and even catches one of them as she jumps into a river to swim in the powerful video.
Jaw-dropping GoPro footage, entitled 'For the Love of Lions ', explains how the pair were rescued as cubs when they were found abandoned in a watery ditch.
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But instead of locking the animals away, Kevin said he allows them to roam the grounds of the wildlife park around other animals as a "different" way to work with lions.
On the video, Kevin says: "I didn't like the fact that they were these cats in cages.
"I wanted to give them a little bit more than that quality of life.
"I started pioneering certain things at the park I was working at.
"One of those things was taking the lions out of their enclosures and letting them walk in the greater area of the park amongst the animals."
Kevin explained how the cubs learned to trust him as they spent time together,
Kevin added: "To see the lions doing what lions do for me was exhilarating.
"It made me realise there was a different way to work with these predators in captivity.
"Meg and Amy and me have a history that goes to when they were born.
"When I call Meg and she comes swimming and I see in her face 'if I come to you are you going to catch me'.
"It's unspoken language really, she looks at me I look at her and we know. That's trust."
Kevin said the the threat posed towards lions by trophy hunters meant he feels Meg and Amy were "destined for a bullet".
He said: "I firmly believe that if I never had m and a back they would have landed up in some shape or form in the canned lion hunting market.
"Definitely in my mind they were destined for a bullet."