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
Berg, purchased a lion. At the
lion was a
He had been born in a zoo.
The friends raised Christian in
London home. All three
hung out in a
friend’s furniture shop on the
Within a year, Christian had grown
185 lbs. Rendall
and Berg realized they
couldn’t keep him much longer.
didn’t know what to do with him.
changed that. Two
actors from the film Born Free
the furniture store.
The actors recommended a
living in Kenya. Christian was
There he was rehabilitated
released into the wild.
In 1974, Rendall and Berg
to visit Christian one
last time. He was
now a wild animal. Adamson
it was doubtful that Christian could
found. No one had seen him in nine
The two flew to Kenya, anyway.
the day they landed,
outside Adamson’s camp.
knew. He waited outside the
until Rendall and
This video was taken during their
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
for the Daily Mail in 2007:
"A friend had been to the 'exotic animals'
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
it out - and there, in a small cage, was
little lion cub. We were shocked. We looked at
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
began Christian's year as an urban lion.
For the next year the two men (along with Rendall's
friend and an actress) raised the cub in the
furniture shop, where Christian had living quarters in
basement, and the lion became a popular local
However, when Christian grew from his initial 35
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
Sophistocat looking for a desk. The actors
suggested that conservationist George Adamson
wife, Joy, wrote the book Born
their real-life experiences in raising a lion cub
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
integrating into a pride with other lions) in Kenya's
Reserve. The video clip linked above shows scenes
the two men's final reunion with Christian several
John Rendall and Ace Berg continued to make
visits to Kenya, but mostly they followed
adventures from afar.
Finally, in 1974, George Adamson wrote to say that the
pride was self-sufficient. Christian was defending
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
time, in the hope of being able to say
though Adamson warned them that it would
certainly be a wasted mission. "Christian hasn't
been here for nine months. We have no
think he's dead - there have been no
of lions poached or killed. But he may never
back," he said. Rendall recalls, "We said:
We appreciate that, but we'll come anyway
you.'" They flew to Nairobi then took a small
plane to the camp in Kora, where Adamson
out to meet them. "Christian arrived last night, "
he said simply. "He's here with his
his cubs. He's outside the camp on his
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
explanation would one day be found. And
it seemed, was the proof.
"Christian stared at us in a very intense way," says
Rendall. "I knew his expressions and I could see
was interested. We called him and he stood
started to walk towards us very
"Then, as if he had become convinced it was us,
he ran towards us, threw himself on to us,
us over, knocked George over and hugged
he used to, with his paws on our
"Everyone was crying. We were crying, George
was crying, even the lion was nearly
Unfortunately, that reunion was the last anyone saw
Christian, and fourteen years later, Christian's
George Adamson, was ambushed and killed by
bandits. In his autobiography, Adamson wrote of
''Promises of solitude, of wild animals in a profusion
delight the heart of Noah, and of the spice of
were always honored. Today, of these three, you
only likely to encounter the danger.''
This story has been verified to be
TRUE via 'Snopes'
whose URL is:
Last updated: 7 July
Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2008 by
Do You Have A Favorite Animal Story That You Would Like To Share With
If So, Email It To
Us ~ Your Privacy
Will Be Protected