Lion reunited with childhood owners


Christian the lion, a big cat who lived in a London antiques shop, has become an internet sensation – 38 years after he was returned to life in the African bush. Two Australians had bought Christian from Harrods in 1969 to impress their friends.

The trio became stars in Chelsea, playing football in a park, but Christian grew too big and at 18 months he was moved to the Kenyan wildlife sanctuary featured in the film Born Free.

A year later his former owners, John Rendall and Anthony Bourke, visited the sanctuary, but its founder, George Adamson, warned them to stay away from Christian, who was now in the wild and had his own pride. He said the lion would tear them to pieces.

Instead, as the film shows, Christian rushed towards them, putting his paws on Rendall’s shoulders and licking his face in joy.

After the meeting, Christian was never seen again.

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