Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Christian The Lion

It may be impossible to truly tame a wild animal, but you can definitely win its heart. This two and a half-minute clip contains footage from a documentary about Christian, a 35-lb. lion cub purchased in 1969 at British department store Harrod's by best pals John Rendall and Anthony "Ace" Bourke (whose last name is misspelled in the intro on YouTube). A year later, when Christian had reached 185 lbs. and outgrown his caretakers' home, they brought him to a wildlife refuge in Kenya so he could roam free. The friends visited sporadically, until 1974, when the refuge's overseer reported that Christian had not been seen for more than nine months — a sign that he had fully adapted to the wild. But Rendall and Bourke managed to find Christian, who by then was leading his own pride. Their emotional reunion, which turned out to be their last, is nothing short of amazing. Kleenex recommended.