Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Lion Called Christian

Have you seen the video on YouTube about the lion being reunited with the two men who raised him when he was a cub? Here's the link - ignore the slightly cheesy Areosmith soundtrack:

If you search YouTube for "lion reunion" or "christian the lion", you can see there are several other variations of this video, part of which is taken from a documentary that was filmed in the early '70s. The video shows a reunion between Christian the lion, all grown up and now living in the wild, with the two humans who raised him for the first few months of his life.

I've just finished reading the book, "A Lion Called Christian" which was written by those two men, Ace Bourke and John Rendall. They have re-released the book after the video clip generated millions of hits on YouTube. It's the story of how they bought the lion cub at Harrods in the 1969 - the good old flower power days when you could buy just about anything at Harrods! - and raised him for several months before returning him to the wild. Once he started to get bigger, they realized they had to find him somewhere more appropriate to live than the basement of the furniture store they worked at and they ended up taking Christian to a conservation area in Kenya run by George Adamson of "Born Free" fame. It's an interesting story and an easy read, I recommend it. Very heartwarming.

This article in gives a bit more of the detail of the story, if you're interested:

(The really funny thing is that while I was watching this video tonight prior to copying the link, my cat Max, who never pays any attention to what is on my computer screen, starting pawing at the screen when the video was playing. Do you think he recognized Christian as one of his king of the jungle cousins?)

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