from cubs to kings

A story of two lion cubs rescued from the spanish tourist industry by lion whisper Kevin Richardson and their journey to a new life in a private reserve in South Africa.

programme information


1 x 60'

Production Company

Produced by Kingdom Films in association with Animal Planet International and Terra Mater Factual Studios.





Episode Information

A packed beach in Spain. Thousands of miles from their native home of Africa, a pair of tiny, new-born lion cubs are posing for tourist snapshots. A heart-wrenching sight – they appear hollow-eyed, weak and malnourished. Acting on an anonymous tip, the cubs are impounded in a sanctuary where they undergo medical tests – and the results are grim. They have bacterial infections, bad kidney and liver function, hair loss, lice and an overall poor body condition. They are given the care they need, and they are given names: Yame and George, Now comes the big question: what is their future? Europe’s zoos are already overpopulated with lions. Their lifesavers approach lion whisperer Kevin Richardson. Despite routinely turning down rescued cubs from the cub petting industry, he agrees to take in Yame and George. It is a lifelong commitment. But Richardson has a goal – to release them into his 1,000 hectare reserve in South Africa. Alongside Kevin Richardson, a team of dedicated veterinarians, scientists, rangers and volunteers work to ensure the cubs make it to adulthood – to one day experience a life of freedom in the land from which they came. From a miserable existence as a tourist sideshow in Spain to the wild plains of Africa – ‘From Cubs to Kings’ follows two cubs on their journey to a better future.

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