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Amazing and Touching Story of Christian The Lion-Truth!
Summary of the eRumor: This email comes with either a video
attachment or a link to the video. It tells the story of two men in
reared a lion cub named Christian. When it got to big for them to
keep, they sent it to live in Africa. A year later they went to
Africa to visit. There
was drama about whether the lion would remember them but it came out of
the wild for a joyful reunion---caught on video.
The Truth: The story and the video are real, although
some of the facts are wrong.
The release and reunion of Christian the Lion took place in Kenya more
than 30-years ago. The eRumor with the video link about Christian
began circulating in July, 2008.
Australian John Rendall and his friend Ace Berg bought the lion cub from
Harrods in London in 1969 when the world famous store had an exotic
animals department. Herrods had gotten the cub from Illfracombe zoo and it
was on display at the store in cage when spotted by Rendall and Berg.
Christian lived in the basement of Rendall's flat in Chelsea and for a
year was a pampered cat. And a clean one too, according to Rendall.
He unfailingly used a very large kitty litter box and was jointly cared
for by Rendall, Berg, and two of their female friends.
Christian eventually grew to nearly 200 pounds and started growing a mane,
which made him look fearsome even though he was very friendly and
accompanied his owners to all kinds of events. He became a feature
at Rendall's furniture store and one day Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna
walked into the store and saw Christian. They were actors who had
been in the film Born Free, the true story of a lion cub named Elsa
that was successfully rehabilitated into the wild in Africa by
conservationist George Adamson and his wife Joy.
It was decided that
Adamson and Africa might be the next destination for Christian.
Adamson was cautious because Elsa had been an African lion born in Africa.
Christian was from London and had lived a very different first year of
In Arica, Christian befriended a lion from the Born Free film named
Boy. Adamson added a female lion to the friendships and began the
process of educating Christian about the wild.
Rendell and Berg would visit from time
to time to check on Christian's progress but it was in 1974 that Adamson
told them that Christian had finally adapted to the wild. He had a
litter of cubs, did not return to the camp very often and was the leader
of his pride (Boy had been shot and killed in a tragic event near the
Upon hearing the news, Rendell and Berg decided they would make a final
trip to say goodbye even though Adamson told them it might be a waste of
time. Christian had not been seen in nine months. But when the
two men arrived in Kenya Adamson told them that Christian and his pride of
lionesses and cubs had arrived the night before, almost as though he had
known they were coming. Adamson said Christian was sitting on his
favorite rock outside the camp waiting for them. The reunion, as
seen on the video, was one of overwhelming joy and tears. Afterwards
Adamson warned that the lionesses didn't seem too pleased with what was
going on so it might be time to leave. It was the last time that
Christian was ever seen.
Adamson continued his work in Kenya but
was shot and killed in 1989 by either poachers or bandits.
A film and a book were made about the remarkable story of Christian the
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