Saturday, 10 January 2009

Christian the Lion

This week in Galley Cat, an article mentioned the success of an accidental book trailer scoring 30 million views on You Tube. That homemade video about a pet lion spurred interest in a 1972 nonfiction book called A Lion Called Christian by Anthony Bourke and John Rendall--making it the sixth most wanted out-of-print book of 2008.

I recall reading this book when it first came out, as I had enthusiastically read the Born Free series written by George Adamson.

Reunion with Christian




Full ending by the Born Free Foundation




A Living Legacy has an interview with John Rendell and Ace Bourke 35 years later about the impact the former video has had with viewers while including clips of later meetings when Christian is full grown.




What intrigued me about these videos was the caring between human and animal, and the memories each had despite the years apart. The collective group of big cats and humans lazing about in the heat of the afternoon is touching. Especially when the lionesses and the cub, who were born wild, are accepting of humans because Christian is.

For those bloggers who have difficulty with embedded You Tube videos, I have linked to the titles here to You Tube directly.

13 comments:

Barrie said...

Oooo....I'm the first to comment! I LOVE these kinds of stories. And, Barbara, you are some kind of night owl!

Barbara Martin said...

Barrie, I'm up only because I'm still not working after my work injury in August...though I should go back to regular sleeping hours before I find a new job.

Having the astrological sign of Leo, I feel a real affinity for African lions.

Anonymous said...

thanks for this fine compendium of what info on christian, john and ace is out there...I enjoyed it so much!

David Cranmer said...

I enjoyed the vids as well and now A LION CALLED CHRISTIAN is on my radar. Thanks Barbara.

Charles Gramlich said...

I saw this recently. How amazing.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Barbara, I'd love to be able to watch these videos - for some reason I cannot open those that are 'embedded?' on blogs, but can if they are on You Tube!

I'll go on You Tube keying in the name and see what I come up with!

Barbara Martin said...

Anonymous, this story is a fine example of the bonding between humans and animals for those who seem to think animals are less intelligent. In the first video the excerpt of the home made portion where Christian is playing with his owners, sits down on his haunches, places a paw on the shoulder of his friend and takes a quiet but thorough look at the person holding the video camera. The big cat cub is in full control of his situation, aware of all that is going on around him.

Barbara Martin said...

David, once you find the book there will be answers to those hidden questions from the videos, i.e. the jealousy from Christian's wives over the attention spent on two humans.

Charles, humans over the ages have been conditioned to think we are superior to the animals who live among us or in the wilderness.

Barbara Martin said...

Raph, I have edited the post to link to You Tube so you can return and view to your heart's content. I hope Nektareeni doesn't get heart palpitations from seeing the lions.

Teresa said...

Barbara, Thanks for sharing this. When I was little my mom read us the book Born Free about Elsa the Lioness. Later we watched the movie. I did not realize there were other stories about lions and humans. It is really beautiful.

I wonder if Jean Auel had heard about this when she wrote the story of Ayla and her lion Baby. There are many similarities between the scenes in the video and the reunion scene between Ayla and Baby in the book The Mammoth Hunters.

RuneE said...

I seem to remember that one from seeing it on TV many years ago. A touching story - and very telling at the same time.

BernardL said...

I do recall seeing the YouTube video clips, and they are incredible.

BernardL said...

I recall seeing the You Tube clips. They are incredible.