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A Lion Called Christian: The True Story of the Remarkable Bond between Two Friends and a Lion (Hardcover)


by Anthony Bourke (Author), John Rendall (Author), George Adamson (Foreword)

Book Description

In 2008 an extraordinary two-minute film clip appeared on YouTube and immediately became an international phenomenon. It captures the moving reunion of two young men and their pet lion Christian, after they had left him in Africa with Born Free’s George Adamson to introduce him into his rightful home in the wild.

A Lion Called Christian tells the remarkable story of how Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall, visitors to London from Australia in 1969, bought the boisterous lion cub in the pet department of Harrods. For several months, the three of them shared a flat above a furniture shop on London’s King’s Road, where the charismatic and intelligent Christian quickly became a local celebrity, cruising the streets in the back of a Bentley, popping in for lunch at a local restaurant, even posing for a fashion advertisement. But the lion cub was growing up--fast--and soon even the walled church garden where he went for exercise wasn’t large enough for him. How could Ace and John avoid having to send Christian to a zoo for the rest of his life? A coincidental meeting with English actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, stars of the hit film Born Free, led to Christian being flown to Kenya and placed under the expert care of “the father of lions” George Adamson. Incredibly, when Ace and John returned to Kenya to see Christian a year later, they received a loving welcome from their lion, who was by then fully integrated into Africa and a life with other lions.

Originally published in 1971, and now fully revised and updated with more than 50 photographs of Christian from cuddly cub in London to magnificent lion in Africa, A Lion Called Christian is a touching and uplifting true story of an indelible human-animal bond. It is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.

Product Description

In 2008 an extraordinary two-minute film clip appeared on YouTube and immediately became an international phenomenon. It captures the moving reunion of two young men and their pet lion Christian, after they had left him in Africa with Born Free’s George Adamson to introduce him into his rightful home in the wild.

A Lion Called Christian tells the remarkable story of how Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall, visitors to London from Australia in 1969, bought the boisterous lion cub in the pet department of Harrods. For several months, the three of them shared a flat above a furniture shop on London’s King’s Road, where the charismatic and intelligent Christian quickly became a local celebrity, cruising the streets in the back of a Bentley, popping in for lunch at a local restaurant, even posing for a fashion advertisement. But the lion cub was growing up—fast—and soon even the walled church garden where he went for exercise wasn’t large enough for him. How could Ace and John avoid having to send Christian to a zoo for the rest of his life? A coincidental meeting with English actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, stars of the hit film Born Free, led to Christian being flown to Kenya and placed under the expert care of “the father of lions” George Adamson. Incredibly, when Ace and John returned to Kenya to see Christian a year later, they received a loving welcome from their lion, who was by then fully integrated into Africa and a life with other lions.

Originally published in 1971, and now fully revised and updated with more than 50 photographs of Christian from cuddly cub in London to magnificent lion in Africa, A Lion Called Christian is a touching and uplifting true story of an indelible human-animal bond. It is is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Responsible Big Cat Ownership: Review of a Lion Called Christian, July 28, 2008
By Spiritwolf "Check out my art creations at my ... (In USA)


I have an original copy of this book, A Lion Called Christian. It is a hardcover book.

This book recounts the experiences of two men who owned a London boutique, bought a lion cub to try to attract customers to the store, and when the lion outgrew their ability to responsibly maintain him, they took responsibility for his future by taking him to George Adamson in Kenya to be rehabilitated to the wild.

George Adamson was the ex-husband of Joy Adamson, author of the famous Born Free books. They were the pioneers of the practice of successfully rehabilitating captive animals to the wild.

The story is excellent and is attracting new interest today because of videos on youtube, of the reunion of the owners and Christian after Christian was living as a fully rehabilitated wild lion.

This story is the epitome example of people taking full responsibility for the welfare and future of the big cat they bought as a pet, when that cat outgrew their facilities and resources to keep him adequately for his needs.

It is a beautiful moving story and also shows just how much loyalty and love that animals can have toward humans who genuinely care about them and relate to the animals in positive fair ways that the animals understand.

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