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 As A True Animal Lover I Enjoy True Touching Animal Stories Such As This One ~ I Have Watched This Video Countless Times And Each Time My Eyes Get Misty ~ This Is A True Story That Can Be Verified In Snopes.

This Can Be A Cold World, Our Hearts Often Need Warming ~ May Your Heart Be Warmed Today. Ms.CiCi  

Lion Hug

Claim:  Video clip shows the reunion of two men with
Christian, a lion they had raised as a cub.

Status:  True. 

Example:  [Collected on the Internet, June 2008] 

This Link Can Be Cut/Pasted Into Your Email
To Share It With Others ~ Pass It On!
I’ll bet you've never seen a pet like the
one in this Video of the Day. In 1969,
two friends, John Rendall and Ace
Berg, purchased a lion. At the time,
Christian the lion was a 35-pound  cub.
He had been born in a zoo.
The friends raised Christian in their
London home.  All three hung out in a
friend’s furniture shop on the weekends.

Within a year, Christian had grown to
185 lbs. Rendall and Berg realized they
couldn’t keep him much longer. But they
didn’t know what to do with him. A
chance encounter changed that. Two
actors from the film Born Free walked i nto
the furniture store.

The actors recommended a
conservationist, George Adamson,
living in Kenya.  Christian was soon in
Africa.  There he was rehabilitated and
released into the wild.

In 1974, Rendall and Berg decided
to visit Christian one last time. He was
now a wild animal. Adamson told them
it was doubtful that Christian could be
found. No one had seen him in nine

The two flew to Kenya, anyway. On
the day they landed, Christian appeared
outside Adamson’s camp. Somehow, he
knew.  He waited outside the camp
until Rendall and Berg arrived.

This video was taken during their reunion
with Christian. What a story! What a video!

Origins:  In 1969, Australian John Rendall and his
friend Ace Berg (both of whom were then living in
London) bought a lion cub named Christian from
 Harrods department store, as the former recounted
for the Daily Mail in 2007:
"A friend had been to the 'exotic animals' department
at Harrods and announced, rather grandly, that she
wanted a camel," says Rendall.

"To which the manager very coolly replied: 'One hump
 or two, madam?'

"Ace and I thought this was the most sophisticated
repartee we'd ever heard, so we went along to check
it out - and there, in a small cage, was a gorgeous
little lion cub. We were shocked. We looked at each
other and said something's got to be done about that."

Harrods, it turned out, was also quite keen to be rid
of Christian, who had escaped one night, sneaked
into the neighbouring carpet department - then in the
throes of a sale of goatskin rugs - and wreaked havoc.

The store, which had acquired the cub from Ilfracombe
zoo, happily agreed to part with him for 250 guineas. So
began Christian's year as an urban lion.
For the next year the two men (along with Rendall's girl
friend and an actress) raised the cub in the Sophistocat
furniture shop, where Christian had living quarters in the
basement, and the lion became a popular local figure.
However, when Christian grew from his initial 35 lb. 
to 185 lb. within a year, his keepers realized their lion
would need to be relocated to a more suitable

By chance, one day Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna -
the stars of the 1966 film Born Free - wandered into
Sophistocat looking for a desk. The actors
suggested that conservationist George Adamson (whose
wife, Joy, wrote the book Born Free about
their real-life experiences in raising a lion cub and
rehabilitating it into the wild) might be able to
help find an appropriate home for Christian.

Rendall and Berg flew with Christian to Nairobi, Kenya,
where they met up with George Adamson, who
helped the lion settle into living an independent life (and
integrating into a pride with other lions) in Kenya's Kora
Reserve. The video clip linked above shows scenes from
the two men's final reunion with Christian several years
John Rendall and Ace Berg continued to make sporadic
visits to Kenya, but mostly they followed Christian's
adventures from afar.

Finally, in 1974, George Adamson wrote to say that the
pride was self-sufficient. Christian was defending it.
There was a litter of cubs. They were feeding
themselves and rarely returned to camp.

The King's Road lion had finally adapted to the wild.

This was a bittersweet moment for all concerned.
Rendall and Ace decided to travel to Kora one last
time, in the hope of being able to say goodbye,
though Adamson warned them that it would almost
certainly be a wasted mission. "Christian hasn't
been here for nine months. We have no reason to
think he's dead - there have been no reports
of lions poached or killed.  But he may never come
back," he said. Rendall recalls, "We said: 'OK.
We appreciate that, but we'll come anyway and see
you.'" They flew to Nairobi then took a small
plane to the camp in Kora, where Adamson came
out to meet them. "Christian arrived last night, "
he said simply. "He's here with his lionesses and
his cubs. He's outside the camp on his favourite
rock. He's waiting for you."

Adamson and his wife Joy often talked about the
mysterious, apparently telepathic communication
skills of lions - particularly between lions and men.

Both believed that lions were possessed of a sixth
sense and George was convinced that a scientific
explanation would one day be found. And here,
it seemed, was the proof.

"Christian stared at us in a very intense way," says
Rendall. "I knew his expressions and I could see he
was interested. We called him and he stood up and
started to walk towards us very slowly.

"Then, as if he had become convinced it was us,
he ran towards us, threw himself on to us, knocked
us over, knocked George over and hugged us, like
he used to, with his paws on our shoulders.

"Everyone was crying. We were crying, George
was crying, even the lion was nearly crying."
Unfortunately, that reunion was the last anyone saw of
Christian, and fourteen years later, Christian's protector,
George Adamson, was ambushed and killed by
bandits. In his autobiography, Adamson wrote of Kenya:
''Promises of solitude, of wild animals in a profusion to
delight the heart of Noah, and of the spice of danger,
were always honored. Today, of these three, you are
only likely to encounter the danger.''

Last updated:  7 July 2008
This story has been verified to be TRUE via 'Snopes'
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