Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Christian the Lion

Since I'm guessing my tens of readers need a break from hearing my long stories about California, tonight I want to share a video that our friend Mike sent me earlier this week. I found it so amazingly touching. However, being the skeptic that I am about most things that people send me via email, I've done about 100 Google searches in the last couple of days trying to verify that the description of this video is, in fact, true. I found many references to Christian the Lion our there on the Internets, and while there seem to be a few inconsistencies here and there, it appears that the description in the original video that I saw is fairly accurate.

This is actually a really old story (older than me even!) that I guess has had a recent resurgence after a related clip was posted on YouTube. I found an article in an online British newspaper dated May of 2007, but the original book about the events (events which actually started in the late 60s) was written back in 1971. Around that same time, a companion documentary was also released. This video might be a short clip from that documentary, or it might have actually happened a few years after the documentary was released, as the aforementioned article indicates. I'm hoping to watch the documentary soon to find out!

So here's the background story in a nutshell. Back in London in 1969, these two guys bought a lion cub, who they raised for the first year or so of his life. They named him Christian and treated him much like any other house pet. Obviously they were extremely attached to him, but they soon realized he was much too large to keep in the city. They took him to a refuge in Kenya, where he was to be reintroduced into the wild by a man named George Adamson, whose work rehabilitating lions was made famous in the movie Born Free. After a year or so of rehabilitation, Christian was visited by his previous owners John Rendall and Tony "Ace" Bourke (although several of the articles I found misidentified Tony as Ace "Berg" instead of Bourke). This is the video of their reunion. I warn you though, you need to turn off the sound. Someone set the whole thing to music, and the Aerosmith song is so cheesy it might ruin the whole experience! I just like this version of the video because it includes some pictures of Christian's "cubhood" that aren't included in the non-Aerosmith version!

There are several other articles and websites about Christian, and each has details that are slightly different, so I'm anxious to read the book and/or see the documentary to get the full story!

1 comment:

Erin said...

that is precious!