‘ That fateful moment – African lion ’
Pastel on Supertooth paper
58 X 84 cm
It's that moment when your heart seems to stop and your entire body freezes, breathless.....drained of the power to move. As time stands still your mind races at a million miles per hour struggling to process this intuitive knowing that HE....that huge lion is seriously considering leaping into the open game drive vehicle and landing right in your lap!!! The hair involuntarily stands up on the back of your neck as he examines his options.
I am not frightened since I can tell by the look in his eyes he is not angry or aggressive in any way.... but he is just crazy enough to do what he is planning!!
His name is Vayetse and he is a rescued lion who lives at Kevin Richardson's Welgadacht wildlife sanctuary in South Africa. Several times each week Kevin takes some of the lions who live at his sanctuary for long walks over the surrounding wild hills where they can chase warthogs and antelope.... generally being as close to natural as possible. At such times and if you are very fortunate, people can travel along with Kevin and the lions in an open game drive vehicle. The lions lead the way and you just take your cue from them.
Perhaps fortunately for me (and Vayetse) Kevin was also 'getting' Vayetse's intention and was able to head him off as he came right alongside me.
I still wonder how it would have felt with around 200kg of lion in my lap.
Thankyou as always to the 'Lion Whisperer' and all round great bloke, Kevin Richardson for the chance to study lions close up.