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Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by Joe, Jul 20, 2008.
They had more guts than I do--not knowing if the lion would remember them and wouldn't attack them.
I found this on Wikipedia about Christian the Lion:
Christian was a lion purchased in 1969 by two Australians living in London, John Rendall and Anthony 'Ace' Bourke (sometimes erroneously cited as Ace Berg) — from Harrods department store.
Rendall, his girlfriend Jennifer Mary, Bourke and Unity Jones cared for the lion as it grew too large to remain their pet.  After meeting Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, who starred in the film Born Free, Rendall and Bourke agreed to have Christian sent to Kenya with the assistance of conservationist George Adamson — in order that Christian be rehabilitated into the wild at Kora National Reserve.
External imagesChristian with London owners John Rendall and Anthony BourkeChristian with George Adamson at Kora National Reserve.
After Christian had been in Kenya a year, Rendall and Bourke returned and visited their former pet. The animal recognized them, reared up, grasped and nuzzled both Randell and Bourke. The following video of the event received widespread dissemination around 2007-2008, more than 35 years later. A movie titled Christian the Lion at World's End documented the relocation of Christian from England to Kenya and his successful reintroduction to the wild. After serious problems in the 1980s, Adamson and two of his assistants were murdered by poachers in 1989. 
Neat Gwen! thanks
John, maybe if you had raised the lion, you might think differently knowing him so well. I can see why someone would be scared though
The Lion didn't appear to ever be in a defensive stance imo, at any time. Then when he ran to them, it appeared to me the lion and humans longed for each other. The men knew their baby lion, now grown up, was going to jump up on them to play hug, like cat's do. Notice the men's eyes, they seem about to cry as they are so happy to see their baby.
When I was 7 or 8, we went to MGM Grand in Reno, NV (which is only a few hours from my home in California). It became Flamingo, now it is something else.
Remember those old motion pictures that had that lion roaring at the beginning?
Us kids were in line to take a picture with that lion. It was male. I was told that one picture was very expensive, and I needed to be good. Or I would get a spanken. So they placed fancy clothing on me and my sister, and we got in line. If they liked you, it's possible you could be in movies. It was also an audition.
Only a small fence, not really a fence but a bar type thing maybe 6-8 feet stood in between us. In line, there was nothing separating us. Lion could get up and walk to us anythime. Kids held onto a cane about 3 feet from the lion. The Lion was free, no cage. And there were probably 50 or more of us in the room, most standing in a long line while their parents stood near them.
Well I decided I wanted to pet him, hug him and sit with him first before the picture.
They didn't tell us not to, but assumed kids had natural instincts not do such a thing. Their instructions were to only walk a straight line to the cane, hold the cane and smile for the pic. Only I didn't.
The lion looked like he needed pets. He was sad, and lonely. So I walked strait in front of him while his trainer and other adults started screaming. He got shook up, I could see the alarm in his eyes so I had to freeze. They yelled at me to come back, but I didn't want to turn my back (the parents got him shook up, and my mom was crying screaming till the trainer shut her up) then the trainer told them all to shut up. I motioned for everyone to be quiet, shhh... Then I sat down on the floor in that spot, Lion calmed down. I ignored the trainer and photographer calling me back. Instead I went over and pet him. Sat with him and hugged him. It was so worth it, I can't describe how soft his skin was, what magnificent creatures they are. Thier manes are so soft.
He loved it, and it was fine. Of course he played like a lion, with his mouth open and my arm in it. No scratches even, or very few if I remember right.
But you just knew he needed attention, not to be forced to sit there while they flash camera lights in his eyes. Poor thing.
Then I got kicked out for swearing at the trainer after he yelled at me. Called the trainer an animal abuser when he yelled at me later for sitting next to "his" animal. Of course, it is God's animal, not his.
Seemed safer than turning my back on the lion to walk away. They will jump you that way.
My Dad beat me in the car for that one, pretty badly. My sister and I were not going to be stars either. We were around 8 years old.
Wow, Joe--you were very brave for a little kid! That must have been really cool to pet that lion.
Another lion video
Having worked with wild animals for 4 years in the mid to late 70's, I can tell you the lion's mane is not soft at all. It is wiry and thick.
It is also impossible to tell if a lion's skin is soft since it is covered with coarse hair.
Um...nope. It was soft. Mame was corse as it appears, yes. But still soft. No doubt
I found the MGM lion on youtube, though they may have switched lions throughout the years.
Still have a somewhat damaged foot due to that instance, it never healed properly after Dad broke/fractured it. The Lion got up and followed me a few feet so I walked him and sit back down with him for a bit.I could see his trainer debating with his prod of whether to intervene, now that was when it became scary He backed off though, thank god.
I saw no gun, or anything to control the lion.
Everyone in line was shook up when the Lion got up, they started leaving. It made no sense to me. I thought if he is truly dangerous, that untame, then what in the world are we all doing in this room taking pictures with him? And why is everyone yelling about him getting up, that is what Lions do, walk around.This just can't be a surprise. It got ugly that when they kicked me out, they threatened to sue. People were nuts back then, including myself, it was the late 70's.
Thanks for sharing the link and your story, Joe. That was really heartwarming.
Thanks for the nice words ladies
I think this is the most popular video on YouTube
I am glad it made its way over to GodTube as well
9 million combined hits on YouTube
I was a little miffed at David Gregory the other day as he fills in for Matt Laur on the "Today" show he showed some condescension and thought he was funny perhaps to a few . I know this , that this video makes people feel good who love their pets and love animals in Gods creation.
I love this story! Thanks for sharing it, Joe ...
Thanks for the additional videos!! :thumbs:
The anchor man was quite rude, not sure why
Nice to see the lion has a lion girlfriend now who let the men pet her too!!! One big happy family walking together
Your Welcome and thanks for sharing your experince as well, I hope everyone on the BaptistBoard gets to see this video and hear your experience.
These two guys are going to be on the Today Show tomorrow. It's really a great story!
Ooooh, I'm going to try and catch it. Thanks Gwen! :wavey:
The Today Show interviewed the two gentlemen, John Rendall and Ace Bourke, this morning as promised. At 60-something, they still speak fondly of their lion friend as if it were yesterday he was romping around their living quarters. Christian was released to the wild shortly after their reconciliation in 1974 and they haven't seen him since.
Thanks, Joe, for bringing a bit of happy news to our attention. :wavey:
Had been hearing about this video for weeks, but never got around to seeing it until yesterday's Today show. I was dumbfounded watching the interplay/love between man and beast. What an amazing 'story' and proof that the lion will lie down with the lamb one day!
Just got this information in email from a lion breeder
Rare is the lion you could allow young children around. Even the best trained and adult-loving lions will still see children as a 'snack'.
This confirms the MGM articles that state that children are not allowed near the lions at all.
(Edited to remove flaming sentence. We do not call members liars per BB rules.)