Way back in 1969, two men, John Rendall and Anthony (Ace) Bourke found a three-month-old lion cub being sold at Harrods in England. It was just so impossible for them not to buy the cub so they did and brought the little cub home.
At that time, the Endangered Species Act of 1976 did not exist yet so the two men were able to care for the cub. This also means that any type of animal was up for sale! The cub was pretty small at the time when they brought it home and many thought that it was just an impulse purchase which is why even though John and Ace were living in the middle of downtown London, they went for it.
These men named the cub “Christian” and they were inseparable! For months, they can be seen roaming up and down King’s Road in Chelsea. One day, they decided to hire a photographer named David Cattani hoping that he would be able to capture some of these amazing moments that they had with Christian. It didn’t take long for Cattani to gain the Lions’ trust and since then, he never stopped taking photos of the lions’ daily life and how the men took care of him. We have to admit, some of their photos were really impressive!
Time passed by so quickly and Christian started to get a little too big for their London flat. Their space was not big enough for this growing lion. They are wild in nature and they have the need to run around freely and get plenty of exercises, which Christian was not getting at their home. His growing appetite was also too much for them to handle.
They knew that Christian needed a new home.
As responsible owners, John and Ace finally decided to arrange for Christian to be transported to Kenya so he can be introduced to the wild which is his natural habitat. George Adamson, a British wildlife conservationist helped them to ease Christian back to the wild. It was successful and that was the last time that John and Ace saw Christian.
Two years later, they decided to visit Christian in Kenya and check on their little friends’ progress. Later on, they found out that as expected, Christian had developed into a full grown lion. He also became the leader of a lion pride. John and Ace didn’t know what to expect when they arrived to greet Christian. Lions are not that accustomed to humans and there is a huge possibility that Christian can eat them alive!
Their reunion in 1971 was captured on video and it was definitely something that nobody expected to happen. The video shows that Christian was at first hesitant to come closer to John and Ace who were patiently waiting for him. As soon as he noticed who they were, he sprints over to them and leaped to embrace his previous family just like how a dog would do after not seeing their owners for a very long time. Christian was very excited to see them!
This is most definitely one of the most amazing moments in the history of mankind. Now, it is still one of the most viewed clips online and to date, millions of people have watched the video. People are shocked at the Lions’ response and when you see the video, you would understand why.