Monday, Mar. 29, 2010

Christian the Lion

Dare you to watch the Christian the Lion video without getting teary-eyed. Of course, it doesn't help that the video above is set to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" or that this version is set to Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing." In the early 1970s, two Aussies, Ace Bourke and John Randall, bought a lion cub at a department store in London. They took him along in their convertible, played ball in a local church's garden and even dined with him in restaurants. But eventually the cub, whom they named Christian, grew into a lion that was just too big for their London pad. They handed him over to George Adamson, who was able to reintroduce Christian into the wild in Kenya. A year later, they missed the lion and decided to visit. They were told Christian was now the leader of his pride and wouldn't recognize them, but they went anyway.

YouTube videos of the reunion show a grownup Christian not only recognizing Bourke and Randall but leaping on them to deliver a giant bear hug and cover them in kisses and licks. The clips, originally posted on YouTube in 2008, received millions of views and put the two men in the spotlight. They decided to update and republish their book, A Lion Called Christian, that detailed their experience.