Christian the lion - story

Two young Australians - Anthony Bourke and John Rendall visited Harrods in London in 1969. They fall in love with a young lion cub called Christian, and acting on impulse they immediately decided to buy him. Anthony and John had no previous experience with lions. After they took possession of Christian they moved the lion into their flat. The flat (in the centre of London) had a basement under a shop and this became Christian's home.

Christian - the lion - grew both in size and popularity and his boisterousness caused quite a stir in the antique shop he called home. Soon keeping a growing lion in the centre of London became untenable and this must have come to an end. It was a big relief when George Adamson agreed to help Christian adapt to his new found home in Kenya and the relocation began.

Adamson introduced Christian to an older male lion called “Boy”. The lion had been used in the movie “Born Free” and who also featured prominently in the documentary film “The Lions Are Free”. Later on Adamson introduced Christian the lion to a female cub Katania in order to form the nucleus of a new pride. Unfortunately, the pride suffered many setbacks: Katania was possibly devoured by crocodiles at a watering hole. Also another female in the pride was killed by wild lions. The bigger lion Boy was severely injured too. After that Boy lost his ability to socialize with other lions and humans, and was shot by Adamson after fatally wounding his assistant. The story end is sad and Christian became the sole surviving member of the original pride.

In 2008, a clip of the reunion with Christian, Anthony Bourke and John Rendall was posted on YouTube and became an internet sensation. Overnight people wanted to know more about the story of the lion Christian.

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