Cat person

On trying to get lions to like you and your species.

Q: There is a school of science that says don’t name the animals you are researching in the field. Was that important to you to give these lions names?
A: Scientists are almost like a monarchy, they don’t really have reasons for a lot of things. I’ve spent more time with these wild animlas than any other scientist. These scientists go out for six weeks, maybe three months a year, and they spend the rest of the time teaching or writing papers – that’s not learning about animals. So for one of them to tell me how I should or should not operate around the bush is a bit naive, but fine I deal with it, I’m used to it.

We had eleven cats that you have to watch at all times. Any one of them can get you killed. If one my crew members calls “Watch Cleo, she’s coming around”, or “hey Brutus is coming”… well, “95648 is coming around” is not as effective. And to think cats don’t have personalities is something I won’t debate. I’m not making a scientific paper out there, I’m making a television show. The most important thing for me is for people to fall in love with these animals and realize they shouldn’t be shot. If you watch my show and you think “yeah, shoot those lions, they’re mean”, then I haven’t done my job.

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