Christian the Lion – Reunion with John Rendall & Ace Berg

John Rendall and Ace Berg found a cub for sale at Harrod’s in a cramped space. They bought the cub and named him Christian. They played with Christian on the grounds of a church until he became to big to keep at home. The introduced him back into the wild of Africa.
One year later they went to see Christian in the wild. They were told that the lion was wild now, the head of his own pride and would not remember them. Here is their courageous story.


  1. Lynn Meadows says

    Beautiful,it fills my heart with such happiness. After all of the years that have passed, the sheer and utter joy and happiness that clearly felt from Christian, John and Ace come right into my heart. God Bless you all!!

  2. says

    Someone emailed this to me…

    I am not usually this touched, but was very touched by this reunion.

    does anyone know where Randell and Berg is now?

  3. Nancy Parker says

    I have never before been so touched and moved by anything as I was by this story; how happy Christian was to see Ace and John again, I could not stop crying. This goes to show us how the power of Love can reach all creatures of this world. What has happened to Christian, Ace and John? Please update us on this wonderful story.

  4. Martine says

    I would like to know where they are and what they are doing now too. The blonde man looks familiar – which one is he?

  5. rebeka moore says

    Today, Ace Bourke is a museum curator in Australia. John Rendall is a trustee of the George Adamson Wildlife Trust, an organization actively involved in preserving African wildlife. The organization, according to Rendall, is part of Christian’s legacy. (For those in the US, Rendall recommends the site

  6. Kim says

    Does anyone know which guy is Ace Bourke? Is he the dark haired one or the blonde in the Khaki shirt? Thanks.

  7. Paola says

    I love this !!! iwant more info about the story of these friends, a very emotional story i love it so much. this really shows love.

  8. Barbara Miller-Stacey says

    I too was entralled by the recent video posted on “You Tube” of the Reunion with Christian. It tugged at my heartstrings….upon further reading the site and viewing the entire documentary I followed with great interest George Adamson, Ace Bourke and John Rendall. They made the ultimate sacrifice in allowing Christian to be released back into the wild and letting him be a lion. I felt the strong bond these two young men had forged with Christian and the devotion and love Christian displayed when he was reunited with his boys. What a wonderful story…..sadly the two commentators of the American Today Show did little preparation in asking questions that were relevant, educational or even interesting and prefaced the interview with insulting dribble. It would have be great if Ms. Vierra had mentioned George Adamson, who gave his life for his charges, or the Kora Preserve, and the George Adamson Wildlife Trust. Mereith, lions in the wild live between 7 and 12 years….but as Rendall and Bourke added…..Christian’s offspring and legacy live on. I doubt if she “got it” for all the snickering in the background. THANK YOU gentlemen for sharing Christian’s story with the world.

  9. Concetta says

    What an extraordinary story and such a beautiful one. There should be more Johns, Bourkes, Bergs and Adamsons in this world – it would be such a better place!!

  10. Candy says

    This is truly a beautiful story and made me cry with emotion. The sheer joy on the faces of Rendell and Bourke were wonderful to see, and that split second when you can see Christian recognise them is astounding.
    Such an inspiration at a time when there’s such cruelty and sadness in life. Wonderful

  11. Deborah says

    Ace Bourke (who they mistakenly refer to as Ace Berg) is the dark haired guy. John Rendall is the blonde. I did not know who was who until I saw them interviewed on the Today Show on NBC in U.S. Really nice guys.

  12. Deborah says

    By the way, John and Ace wrote a book back in the 70’s called “A Lion Called Christian”. From what I hear, it may be re-released very soon!

  13. Linda says

    Here are two links to an interview John and Ace did last week in Australia. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. What an amazing and beautiful story. I just ordered the book by George Adamson called The Pride and Joy. Hope to get it next week. Also hoping for re-release the book by John and Ace. I would love to have that also. If anyone hears if it will be released soon, please let us know.

  14. Deborah says

    Ashley…actually John Rendall is the blonde. If you watch the Today Show interview online, you will see that when both he and Ace are speaking to the host of The Today Show.

  15. says

    Attached are two links of an interview John and Ace did last week in Australia. I hope you enjoy it, as much as I have. They are two amazing men. The story is so heart warming and just beautiful to watch. It is certainly a tear jerker….. I have just ordered the book, The PRIDE and JOY by George Adamson. I should get it next week. I can hardly wait to start reading it. If anyone knows if they are going to re-release the book written by John and Ace, please let me know. I would also love to have a copy of it.

  16. marla says

    Christian was given complete and unconditional love and because of that love so early on Christian was able to bring that love to his pride and all those who knew him. If there is a lesson in this story – aside from the clear evidence that animals can be feeling, loving creatures, it is that love transcends all boundaries and when you are loved you can give love — Lions, humans, all living creatures.

  17. Linda says

    I just completed reading the book A Lion Named Christian by John Rendall and Ace Bourke. I was able to get it through my local library. It was just amazing. I’m also reading George Adamson’s book, My Pride and Joy. Last week, I received the DVD from the Born Free Foundation,Christian The Lion at World’s End. I’m going to watch it with my 90 year old mother. As you can see I can’t get enough about this story. Kelly thanks for the link to the interview from Australia. It’s so much better than the one I previously had. Alos, the interview was alot better than the one from the Today Show. Marla, I concur with your sentiments.

  18. Laurie says

    I saw this for the first time last Friday and stayed up until 2 in the morning watching it over and over. Then I watched all the different variations on YouTube including the entire Christian the Lion movie that the clips came from. I was so moved. This is proof positive that animals have souls that some of us have always known but how else could he have known they were coming (if you watch some of the other films they tell how he hadn’t been seen in a while and then the night before the guys showed up Christian and his pride were in the area. Kind of like some of us knowing that when the phone rings it’s our mother on the other end, pick it up and there she is! I loved how Christian immediately remembered that Ace was the one who used to invite him to jump into his arms and so he did it time and again. That says to me that he loved that little game he played with Ace. What I also love is that smile of Ace’s. That man has the sweetest soul. Then when I heard him speak on the recent interviews I knew he was indeed a very sweet sensitive patient person you could tell from his manner. Strangely I want to know more about Ace and John’s lives because something like that experience with Christian has to affect one’s life for the better.

    And didn’t that final photo of Christian with George that they showed in some of the interviews, showed what a handsome cat he turned into and he still had that friendly look to his face. I’m still in awe! Of course I love my little kitties so it might have something to do with it!

  19. Debra Oakland says


    Thank you for this moving and heartfelt post. People all over the world seem to gravitate towards this story. Many people leave posts here conversing about Christian, Ace and John.

    This story shows the true love that exists within all human life, when we trust in that love and are able to reach out and share it.

    Debra Oakland @ Living in Courage

  20. Sham says

    I think, that’s why me must call Lion as a King of the jungle.

    I’m really crying when I saw it. It’s so beautiful!!! No words can describe it.

    I really want to know more about them. I hope somebody will make movie of this Christian The Lion. Somebody should do something so that this story will never lost.

  21. Kelly Sali says

    Actually there is a movie about him and the two gents who adopted him. It’s called Christian- The Lion At World’s End, it is quite fascinating, if you have a broadband connection you can watch it online. Cheers, Kel

  22. cynthia says

    You know words cannot describe when I first saw this You tube. A pen friend sent it. She just assumed everyone had seen it. I told her I had never even heard or seen it. Well, I can tell you I was moved to tears. I cried and cried. What a extraordinary and heartfelt story. What struck me the most, how much this lion loved them. Well, in my eyes they are heros. You know what? They saved Christians life. Even though this story to some seems so long ago, 1969 when they found him in the Harrods dept store. It truly isnt. This type of story will live on. I am grateful it was filmed. Hey, I am sure christian is looking down and saying love you john and ace and thanks for loving and saving me. : ) Have a great life you two. : )

  23. says

    GOOD NEWS…. Sony is looking to bring the story of Christian to the big screen. The studio is currently securing the life rights of Rendall and Bourke and their 1972 book “A Lion Called Christian.” Neal Moritz will produce this project.

  24. Scout says

    What a beautiful story!

    Christian is the sweetest lion I’ve ever heard of. He’s adorable!

    I hope that he lived a long life in the wild.

  25. says

    As for as to how long Chistian may of lived. In the book ‘Journey to Freedom’ written by Virginia McKenna, she stated George Adamson beleived Christian had crossed tye nearby Tana River and established a new territory. Although George new saw Christian again, he did receive report of a lion that looked very much like Chistian for several more years in the are to the north.

  26. AJ says

    Wow, that was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. I will try to send copies of the DVD to my nieces and some friends.

  27. Dave says

    For those of you that have read the books “My Pride and Joy”, “Journey to Freedom”, and/or “A Lion Called Christian”, I’d like to ask you a question:

    How many reunions were there between Christian, John, and Ace? Based on the Australian TV interview, it sounds like there were at least 3. The first which we’ve all seen on YouTube, several others (?), and then a final one with only John in 1974…after which Christian was never seen again.

    I’m skeptical about what I’ve read through online articles because they seem to blur/merge the details of the first and last reunion visits. I was hoping that someone here might be able to provide accurate information.

    Thank you very much!!

  28. Diana says

    John and Ace saw Christian established in Africa, came back a year later and then once again. Ace didn’t come back in 1974. They don’t know how long he lived because he went further into the wild and George couldn’t keep track of him. Ace and John were on Oprah on Friday. There is a DVD called The Lion at World’s End you can order. It sets out the whole story and shows Christian’s journey. A lovely movie.

    • Debra Oakland says

      Thank you for sharing this information about Oprah. I have been pleased and amazed at the amount of comments on John, Ace and Christian since my first post. What a wonderful experience it must have been for all three of them.

  29. Lauren says

    Dave, you are correct. Most of the youtube / blog accounts have blurred the facts. The DVD only shows the first reunion which was about nine months (and not a year) after John and Ace left Christian with George. This is the reunion which is posted across Youtube in 1972. They then returned one further time in 1974 (funnily enough footage has now surfaced pf this and made its debut today on UK television (23 Mar 2009)). This reunion is the telepathic reunion whereby Christian, now wild with his own pride including cubs returns to the camp the night before the men arrive and stays with them for a day and a night, even sleeping with them, only for his wife to be a little disgruntled when he returns. After that, he is heard mating a few months later and there are a couple of sightings by George but then he disappears and does not return to the camp (George stops counting after 97 days). As George never heard of any trophy-killing stories of a huge lion being poached/killed, it is thought he lived out the rest of his days naturally, dying of old age or in combat with other wild lions.

  30. says

    I have to admit when I first saw this youtube video, I cried and cried for 3 days. Couldn’t get the sentiment out of my mind and Whitney Houston’s song in the background didn’t help me out either. It is a beautiful thing these two young men did for that lion, but what made me sad was that they had to leave him to be made wild after having been tame since a cub. What must he have felt when they finally left him alone with George, and then to come back to see him several months later and to see the excitement in Christian’s face and actions can only make me a happy sad. It turned out well, but I feel animals have souls also, because they truly feel pain, loneliness, sadness, etc.
    and hopefully this phenomenon will bring this thinking to the forefront for people who don’t let mistreatment of animals bother them. I have been moved to give to the trust that George Adamson has in his name and wish I could give more. Oh, if only all these rich people would let go of some of their money for such causes, wouldn’t wildlife be better off for it? Sorry to drabble on so, but this has moved me more than anything else has in a long, long time. Have ordered the book, the children’s book and the DVD. Can’t wait to get them. Hope I am not brought to such teariness while reading and watching the whole story. Thank you for letting me share these comments.

    • Debra Oakland says

      Sharon, thank you for sharing your comments with us here at Living In Courage Online. The story has touched people around the world by showing the true power of love, no matter what form we exist in on this earth.

  31. Tina says

    I lived in chelsea as a kid and actually met christian, it was amazing, one morning walking pass the shop sophistocat, I spotted a lion cub in the window, i ran home to get my brother and sister as i couldn’t believe my eyes. we stopped by that shop most afternoons after school to see christian in fact most of the kids around the worlds end hung around the shop to see the lion cub. When I received the youtube link through an email from a friend I was delighted to see what happened to christian. Just watched the full lenghth story on channel 5, wonderful!!

    • Debra Oakland says

      What a wonderful experience for a child to have! You are blessed to have seen Christian. An experience I am sure you will never forget. I had the pleasure of watching Oprah recently where they showed old footage for the first time.

  32. says

    This is such an amazing story! I have just finished reading the revised book and would happily recommend it to anyone who is, like myself, a fan of Christian and his story. Ace and John have their own website (see above) which has regular updates on the continuing journey of Christian as well as on themselves. Definately worth having a look at!

  33. patti says

    I actually bought a wardrobe from the shop (and the guys delivered it)but I didnt see Christian alas, it was only afterwards when I read their first book I discovered he was there at the shop(he must have been dozing upstairs/downstairs at the time!)and was totally gutted I’d missed seeing him. I’d forgotten all about him when I came across this clip on Youtube by accident whilst looking for clips of lions to show my cat (he loves tv and animal programmes in particular!). These two guys deserve recognition of some sort for what they did, it must have been a terrible wrench for them to give him up, though that must have also been tempered with relief too as he was getting too big for safety and if anything had gone wrong then they would have been the villains of the piece and the press would have given them a truly hard time. They have brought so much attention to the wildlife cause and whoever was responsible for putting that first clip on YouTube, thank you! Yes, love can indeed conquer all.

  34. Kim says

    I am relieved to see that I am not the only person who was reduced to real tears by this story (which has not happened in a long time) and the video in particular. Although the ending seems the best it could possibly be for Christian, my tears are not “happy” tears, they are “sad” tears, and I think this is because Ace and John had to “let go” and it seems so awful that when there is so much love there between them. It is such a shame that there was no “middle way” that would have let them stay in touch but let Christian go free. At this point, three days after seeing the video, like Sharon, I am still a wreck, but it is some comfort to see I am not the only one.

  35. says

    This is one of the most wonderful, moving and heartwarming stories I have ever heard/seen in all my life. Thank-you to John and Ace for allowing us all to be familiar with this beautiful boy Christian.
    I wish you both all the success in the world, you desserve it.
    Special Thanks and Love, Karen. W. x

  36. says

    This is the most wonderful, moving and heartwarming stories I have ever heard of / seen in my life. Thank-you SO much John and Ace for sharing this with us and allowing us all to be familiar with this beautiful boy, Chistian. I wish you both all the very best for the future, having shown such love, devotion and kindness to this beautiful creaure, you deserve only the best.
    With Love and thanks. Karen L Walters.

  37. says

    I also would like to learn more about John and Ace after the release of christian to today. Cant stop crying about this clip. H ave seen almost every interview going. Hope to see alot of money raised for this cause.

  38. Gaby says

    I would like to know why these guys didn’t at least try to locate or look after Christian in that National Park where he was believed to be? I, as a simple pet owner, couldn’t live with the uncertanty of not knowing what happened with him? I understand the enourmosity of such a search but this far I didn’t hear of any indication that there would have been any attempt made. I’m hooked on the love Christian displayed toward these guys, unconditionally. I’m worried that Christian was placed in a nearly impossible situation when he had to fight alone for his bare existance without the support of a pride or another male lion.

  39. jenny walker says

    Hi Tinette,
    John is living in London and he emails me now and again as I had ‘Boy’ the male lion that became firm friends with Christian

  40. Kim G. says

    Like many of you fellow animal lovers, I am completely obsessed with this wonderful, joyous story. I ordered a DVD made from a documentary about Christian made by one of the stars of Born Free. It is different than the excellent new show played on Animal Planet Sunday, April 5. I’ve also just read the new release of “A Lion Called Christian”, written by John and Ace and updated in 2009. I also got a book mentioned in their book entitled “The Great Safari”, about the lives of George and Joy Adamson. I will later get the book “My Pride and Joy” by Mr. Adamson from our library. The entire story is one of unconditional, unabashed, true, unhidden affection and caring. Quite amazing and inspiring. I truly believe we have no idea how much intelligence and love animals are capable of, because of how poorly they are usually treated. And also because we have no way to accurately measure their smarts. I also recommend a book by the animal behaviorist Temple Grandin, Phd. called “Animals in Translation.” Bless all of you for your gentle hearts. May you all know love such as John and Ace had with their special lion.

  41. Kim G. says

    And I finally figured out why I am obsessed with the story. It reminds me, unfortunately, of all the animals I have had to leave in my life, and their responses when I left them, or saw them again. I left my dog with my mom while getting a divorce and she got so excited seeing me each time I visited, and then eventually resigned herself to the fact I wasn’t taking her home. (I was able to after several months, but it was so sad seeing her lose hope.) I gave away two precious cats because my fiance didn’t like them in the house. I never found out what happened to them, as the family gave them away and wouldn’t tell me where they went. The guilt is tremendous! I can only pray that I and people who’ve been in similar circumstances know the presence of a Saviour who forgives all when we ask. It’s the only thing that helps forgive ourselves. Love to all, Kim

  42. jeanii says

    Animal Planet has run a 1 hr documentary on Christian and the 2 men. It’s very heartwarming and well done. I DVR’d it and have it saved forever. Those 2 men have alot to feel proud of in giving this lion back his life in his own environment. Sad though because Lions only live about 15 yrs in the wild and 20+ in captivity. Better to live a short and happier, FREE life, than caged & longer.

  43. Kim G. says

    Yes, Jeanii, you are right. And the latter pictures of Christian at age 3 show him still smiling and looking very content, indeed. I am a little confused, too, about the dates. The updated book “A Lion Called Christian”, says he moved north of the Kora camp, across the Tana River and possibly into a national park sometime in early 1973. But I’ve heard on two interviews, John Rendell saying he went to Africa in 1974 and saw Christian then. Anybody have clarification? They are on “The View” tomorrow, April 9.


  44. jeanii says

    Good Morning Debra & Everyone.
    I would like to start out with I found your website by accident and have been reading through it. I almost feel like God directed me to it when I did a search on Christian the other night. It is strange how your website title fits into my life as well. I shall continue to enjoy this site and thank you for having it.
    John & Ace were on The View. I had taped it and then only watched their segment. I think it was Whoopi who asked something about Christian today and they answered with Christian would not have lived more than 10 years in the wild. Although I knew the life span it still saddened me to hear it. I would like to add that I saw the youtube video about 2 years ago and have been obsessed with Christian ever since. If I hear anything about them or Christian being on TV I must watch it. I searched all over the internet back then because I had read something about an older movie done on VCR tape available. I did find it and it had been converted to DVD. Actually its 10 children’s movies on 5 discs. It’s called 10 KIDS FAVORITE ANIMAL MOVIES. If you type that exact title in you will find it for sale at many websites for as little as $1.00. I’ve been told you can find it in dollar stores. I did go out and searched my local ones, lol, but none. I found it online and paid about $20, not bad for 10 movies. Anyway it’s the original movie and well worth watching. The beginning of it is hysterical. Opens with Bill Travers & Virginia McKenna shopping. There are many of these 10 Kids Favorite Movies DVD’s out there with different stories on them. Make sure it has CHRISTIAN THE LION, LIL SCRATCH, etc included. Amazon does have it too. As of today only 2 left there.
    I so wish I could stop crying when I watch anything about Christian’s life story or anything animal related. I so love animals and I envy those here who were so lucky to have come in contact with those 2 men & Christian the Lion!

  45. jeanii says

    Kim, I don’t remember the dates, but I do know they went to see Christian 2 times, approx 1 year apart. I’ve seen so many interviews that I get confused too. Next time I watch the documentary I will pay better attention. First I need to dry up my tear ducts, lol.

  46. Kim G. says

    I hear you, Jeanii. I was glad to finally figure out what the exact emotion was from seeing the video. It’s one of those things that can change people’s hearts and minds about animals. I, too, did searches for Christian. There are other great books about people and the animals that loved them out there I plan to read. Dewey, the Library Cat is great. There’s one about a barn owl that’s recent..and Merle’s Door about a dog in Wyoming. I’m reading The Great Safari about the Adamson’s tumultuous relationship right now. God Bless and Happy Easter to everyone.

  47. Kim G. says

    “Wesley the Owl” is the title. You can read excerpts on An MIT student was given an injured four-day old barn owl from the biology lab before it’s eyes had opened. It imprinted on her and would screech if she ever left the room. She had him for nineteen years and tells an amazing story of his ability to sense moods and understand language.

  48. Lisa says

    I seen this video about a year ago and teared up at the beauty of it but then i seen the documentary on animal planet last week and have been a wreck ever since and burst into tears throughout the day when i think about this lion that touched so many hearts had a tragic end.Their comming up with a story that their hoping Christian made his own territory somewhere else and eventually had a pride of his own for the reasoning for his leaving,but how the heck does a lone lion get his own territory against prides of african wild lions and battling them and avoiding pouchers ect,now their making him into a super hero lion and trying to give this story a make beleive end,theres no proof of him ever being alive after he dissapeared,once he dissappeared that was it,theres no realization to him being able to make it alone and why would he want to leave the comfort of what territory he had by georges camp and what makes no sense what so ever is why he would leave the pride he had,all his lions always came back to see him,all of them!,it was in christians character to want to be around his human friend from time to time too.In the reunion video at the end you see the two lionesses Mona and Lisa and the cub named Super Cub,that was Christians pride but he did not leave with his pride in fact Super Cub is buried next to Georges brother and George is buried next to Boy and Elsa.Do a web search on george adamson,what an amazing life he had and youll see more pictures of him with his lions,but ive been so heartbroken after seeing the documentary and it makes the video that much more heartbreaking now that i know that Christian was never seen again after the age of 3.The only comfort i have is at least he had a happy life the short time he had.

  49. Loretta Mobley says

    I am so obsessed by Christian and his story, and I watch the video every chance I get. I also purchased the book and have read it twice. What a beautiful love story. I try not to think that he may not have lived to be very old, but then again, he did not have to be locked up. I am hoping he had a long happy life.

  50. Kim G. says

    Dear Lisa, your kind, gentle heart is wondering about something of which we have no surety. I read in two different accounts that George had reports of a lion very much like Christian spotted for several years north of the Tana River. That’s what I am hoping, as well. For several days I thought as you did, that Christian’s overjoyed emotions at seeing Ace and John could partly be due to a “Oh, good, they’re back. I can go home now” relief. I can’t go there or I would be miserable. Instead, I listen to John and Ace describe how they had not a moment’s doubt this was the best life for Christian. Yes, he had George for several years, but since his natural lion instincts were starting to take over (he’d pinned down both George and his assistant Tony, though had quickly let them go), and he survived those first few years, I have to assume he found his way in the wild. They never heard of a lion that size being poached, so that’s good. Please let your beautiful heart be at peace. My thought is maybe we will all be allowed to meet Christian and hear his story in the hereafter.

  51. jeanii says

    Reading these posts here just bring me to tears too. Not a day goes by that I don’t see a lion’s picture on TV in a commercial that always brings back to me the story of Christian. I often wonder what is wrong with me that Christian and ALL animals have such a effect on my life, bring me to tears or laughter, but most of all the abuse of animals just makes me so angry. When I read someones comment that “they are only animals” I cringe, I hate, I cry. Everytime I see those commercials on TV for abandoned animals, their sad faces I cry. Am I losing ‘it’? I think so…….

  52. Kim G. says

    Dear Jeanii, a patient of mine (a pastor), told me once I have a “gentle heart”. That’s true for you, too. We may never understand why others do what they do or say what they do. What I’ve found helps is to do what you can to help the animals and the workers who tirelessly strive to give them better lives. I donate to several animal organizations. My favorites now are and Fund for Animals and my local shelter. There’s a reason our God gave you that sensitivity. Probably the easiest thing we can all do is encourage spay and neuter programs to prevent unwanted litters!

  53. says

    Kim, You and I are to much alike.
    I cannot even begin to tell you how much money I give to the animal orgs. I also place physical orders of cat & pet food, goodies, and toys from JB Pet and have them sent directly to the Humane Societies. Recently I sponsored a US Soldiers Iraq dog to be able to come home with him.
    One more thing, I save all my old blankets, towels, etc and bring them to the Humane Society. Last time I did that I came home with another dog so now my husband drives them over for me, lol. If my husband dies before me I plan on redoing my will to leave all that I own to the organizations. Right now I have 3 ‘saved’ dogs but if I get anymore I will take on a needy, older dog. I try to promote people to save a pet instead of supplying the puppy mills. I used to get puppies but have decided the older dogs need to spend their last few days or years in a happy home. I so wish I could do more.

  54. Kate says

    Katie, you posted that Ace and John have their own website. Can you please tell me what it is? Also, for everyone, I saw a video that had Ace and John recently against a rocky background, but it was removed from where I found it. Anyone know where this can be played? Thanks (BTW my rescue dog is laying under the desk as I write this)

  55. Kim G. says

    Jeanni, the animals (and the people, too, I’m sure) in your life are indeed fortunate. I smiled and smiled reading your post. We do what we can, don’t we? I also have four rescued animals (3 cats, one was feral and will only come to me, and one dear 15-year-old shelter terrier mix. You are making a tremendous difference in your community and to your sponsored organizations. Keep that gentle heart and smile as much as you can. I believe the whole purpose of life is to show and learn love. You are doing that. Bless you.

  56. Kim G. says

    Kate, Animal Planet has a bunch of Christian videos, all taken from their excellent documentary a couple weeks ago. Here is one link that should take you to the correct page. You’ll see one thumbnail photo of a grown up Christian with full mane sitting sideways on a rock. He is magnificent. That shot is also the last photo in the book “A Lion Called Christian”.

  57. says

    Hi Kim,
    Bless you and your family, and to all the people who take care of or help out our precious creatures.
    Thanks for the link for Christian. I will go check it out.

  58. Kate says

    Hi Kim, have you seen the video I referred to in my earlier post. A current Ace and John are in a setting with a rocky background. I was hoping it was another new interview but can’t find it anywhere since the first time I saw it and it said the video was pulled.

  59. Kim G. says

    Kate, I don’t think so! I’ve seen the interview they did on Australian TV and the little ones they did on the View and Today and then the long movie Jeanii references which will be repeated on Animal Planet. That one intersperses old footage with lots and lots of new interviews with several people who knew Christian. I highly recommend it. Let us know if you run across your video again! Thanks.

  60. says

    Is there a home page for the link you posted? I checked out your link and only able to view the one page. Do they have any other links with pictures, etc.
    I wish they offered a autographed version of their book for those of us that are not able to go to one of their book signings.

  61. Kim G. says

    Hi Jeanii, I have only seen the one page on Ace and John’s website.

    There was a short additional video on Animal Planet today about 3:00 pm central time! It wasn’t listed in the guide and was at the end of another program. I only caught the last six minutes, but it had condensed the whole story and had a few new words by John and by a lion trainer, who was saying Christian’s behavior could have suddenly changed to dangerous and that you can never fully trust a wild animal. That’s what makes Christian’s welcome to John and Ace so astounding. It STILL floors me each time I see it, with sound or not :).

  62. Rachael Fox says

    I haven’t been able to stop watching the ‘Christian’ Re-union video for the last two days, all day. I watch it over and over again and every single time I end up with a river of tears streaming down my face. You could tell from Christian’s body language that he was never going to attack John and Ace. As soon as he realized it was them you could instantly see the love in his eyes. To John and Ace, at the time you probably didn’t realise it but you have probably made the world a better place and made people look inside their hearts and respect animals of all kinds. To Christian, THANK YOU. You were absolutely gorgeous and have done more for this world than you could ever know.

  63. Lisa says

    Whats being replayed on Animal Planet Friday at 10 is A Lion Called Christian,it’s not a movie but an hour documentary of John and Ace telling the story and showing additonal video footgae and pics that aren’t on youtube that people haven’t seen yet,i seen it when it first aired a month ago and get your kleenex’s ready,i literally cried for two weeks every time i thought about it,also for more of Christian and George’s story (thats the older gentleman you see for a brief second at the end of the video everyone has falling in love with when Christian runs and hugs his original owners)but Christian was giving to George for rehabilitation to be released into the wild and theres so many beautiful pics of Christian with George and George with his other lions and pics of his camping quarters ect. that his friends submitted for this website in honor of George oh! and don’t forget to read the actually letters George wrote to his friend that his friend submitted,you really get a feel of who george was and his relationship with his lions,theres a section dedicated just about Christian,you all need to go check out this website it’s called

  64. Kim G. says

    What an amazing site. Thanks again, Lisa, for posting it. Here is one of my favorite lines: “George showed the world what man could do with Love.” Beautiful photos of the Kora camp on later visits and the graves of George, his brother, Supercub and Boy.

  65. Kim G. says

    Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful souls.

    I’m following a story where all we animal lovers can make a difference. A group called Furry Friends Farm is attempting to rescue dozens of stray dogs that had been dumped on a remote island in Malaysia by the villagers of the island nearby. Half have died of starvation. The villagers just wanted them out of their hair. Here is a link to a story which was widely reported last week (msn, yahoo, aol). I have an email if you want to contribute, which I did. Love to all.

  66. Kath says

    I would hate to think what might have happened to Christian if he had not been purchased by John and Ace. They are two remarkable people who truly set out to do the right thing by a wonderful lion cub. I take my hat off to them and we should all learn a lesson on how we should treat animals.

  67. Hannah Harris says

    I saw this on the news a few months ago but really didn’t follow it ’til recently on You Tube.My sound is dead on my old puter so can’t get what the men are saying in all those TV interviews.I wish I had seen them.I bought the book by Ace and John the other day.I read that John lives in London part of the year and has 3 grown kids.I guess Ace never married.Boy,he was cute when he was younger and Christian adored Ace the most.I do hope Christian had a long happy life.If he had been my pet,I would have put him in a big zoo like in San Diego or in a sanctuary that had plenty of land.San Diego did have a huge wildlife park that was pretty big.

    The 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary operated by the not-for-profit Zoological Society of San Diego. It is home to more than 3,500 animals representing 429 species, including the largest crash of rhinos in any zoological facility, and one of the only California condor exhibits in the world. Naturalist habitats provide an opportunity to view animals lounging in natural settings, while unique construction at areas like Lion Camp allow you to come face-to-face with Africa’s biggest cat.

    No telling where Christian would have ended up if Ace and John didn’t send him to Kenya.

  68. Hannah Harris says


    I read the book last night and remember reading online that Geo Adamson said before he died that he heard Christian moved to a safer area up river in Meru National Park and that he heard that the lion may have gotten up to 500 lbs.He also heard of no big lions being shot or killed either so maybe Christian did make it to an old ripe age after Geo A died.This would be 1989.Ace and John did make the right decision as they released the lion at a park that was somewhat protected.

    When you look at all the tapes/clips,anyone connected with Kora Park is dead.Maybe Christian got lucky coz he left Kora Park?

  69. suzin says

    I love Christian. I cry and cry over this , Im really trying to see this story as happy but its so sad he had to go back to the wild, he was so tamed, loving and funny, I have been really upset since I have seen this, Christian is always on my mind. I have brought the book but cant bring myself to read it as I end up balling my eyes out

  70. suzin says

    Lisa I totally agree with you. I almost thought I wrote your message. I cry abd cry over this, I actually feel sick about it. Christian was so tamed its just so wrong he was put back in the wild. I too think things dont add up. All Georges lions came abck but not Christian??? Typing this Im crying as I dont think he lived this happy life that people like to think he did. That poor poor lion he must have thought everyone abandon him

    bless you Christian you didnt deserve to be left like that

  71. suzin says

    Hi Gaby i agree, this has really had such an emotional effect on me, I cant stop thinking about it…how could they leave him?? My god he was an angel and tamed, too tamed and loved to be put in the wild, he must have wondered what hit him?? And why didnt they look for him, its weird, why did George give up after not seeing him for 97 days,arrghh so many unanswered question, I think too many people are in la la land thinking Christian survived and had this so called happy life, he wasnt born in the wild the poor thing it breaks my heart!!! I have this funny inner feeling, that Ace looks sad in the recent interviews almost like he regret what they did, dont get me wrong I know they loved Christian but maybe in hindsight it was a mistake to put him in the wild. They brought him up to be gentle and loved then they out him back in the wild to fight for food, and to stay alive…hearbreaking, a sanctuary would have been better, Im sure if they put their head together Bill Traver, viginia mckenna and their actors friend could have got money together and built a safe sanctuary for Christian and other rescue animals

  72. sarah bowing says

    It’s as if every animal documentary I have ever seen was unavoidably leading to this near-unbearable tale of how almost breachable is the gap between humans and animals. In watching Christian’s haunting, highly atmospheric story, captured in the grainy colour of the time, there is something about the light and surrounds of that bright, hot and remote place in the Dark Continent of 40 years ago that reaches out as if it were yesterday. I have no doubt Christian’s spirit roams the Kora Reseve/Tana River/Meru Reserve region,borne on the wind and sunlight, I hope peacefully. It is so hard not to believe he felt abandoned and confused but, as John said, on their second visit, Christian “now had lion things to do”. I would like to think this amazing animal can know of his effect on those who think long and often of him; this will sound strange but I wonder
    at the exact moment of his death if, as a young woman, I might have experienced an intense, inexplicable surge of sadness, of longing, of, as it is called, the unbearable lightness of being… Christian’s story has enriched my life immeasurably; I find myself taking solace from his life, thoughts of him lift my soul; he is like Aslan. There is much to be thankful for in experiences such as this. As our lives spin out across the decades, moving us inexorably toward the final homecoming, some things transcend all and the greatest of these surely is Love.

  73. Carolyn says

    I have just gone through all the messages – I am not alone in my feelings for a wonder Lion called Christian – I too have mixed feelings about my darling Christian and often wonder if he felt abandoned by his human family – I often wonder why George did not make a trip out to try and find Christian – even if only to make sure he was OK – or perhaps he could have been put into an animal sanctuary for Lions – I sometimes pray I could dream of Christian’s journey through life – I hope he did not suffer any great pain and that his descendants are in Kora and Meru. I watch the clip every day – several times – there is an outpouring of love for Christian – my Narnia on all the sites. George did not hear of any large Lion being killed by poachers or other lions so I cling to that hope. I want to buy My Pride & Joy by George – he was a great man and the title Baba ya Simba is well deserved. I would have loved to have met him and spent time with his lions. I too donate to WSPA – and have 6 cats and a dog – I also feed three strays in my front garden. I am looking into adopting a Lion or two through the Born Free Foundation – there are several links on the George Adamson website. I am sure these thoughts have gone through Messrs Bourke and Rendall’s mind – John is still involved with wildlife GAWPT, but yes, Ace does sound sad and admits to shedding a few tears for Christian. I like to think Christian is with George and Boy, Elsa and Supercub and the others and also Bill Travers in Paradise.

  74. says

    lions live 100 years christian did not make it nor did Elsa in born free, she never made 2. Christian made 3. He did not just disappear from his Africa trainer, tame animials die very young in the wild.

  75. says

    I just saw Christian the lion on TV. I was so moved by it. I feel in love with Christian the lion. I think you are all ignorant because a lion bought at a pet store that sleeps in your bed and has a pilliow, dog food and is hand raised and goes out in a car on a leash. To dump him in Africa and say your now free because of some lying movie born free is INSANE. If christian had the choice to be FAMOUS in a circus and make movies and live in a natural habitat like DISNEY WORLD or another like it in America and have crowds cheer his name, do you think if he could speek that he would of chose being homeless in Africa to kill for food and to have his face tourn up by a half tame, wild lion to fight to be leader of a pride for some female lions. By the way the lions they chose for him were from the UGLY SCHOOL, he could of got laid in the circus also if that was the issue by a much prettyer lion. He could of been killed in the fight, this is not love on his masters part but an act of pure selfishness. Elsa in born free was dead after only turning a year old, while lions live to be 100. His handsome face all clawed up, changed to be a killer, not the life of fame and fortune. He did not have to go to a zoo, there were other options. I believe he did not just dissappear after their last meeting I believe he was killed. They distroyed the best lion that ever lived. Ask Christian if it was his choice what his answer would of been, we all know the answer. They abondomed him and left him in a foreign country frightned and hungry for females that were available elsewhere.

  76. says

    Don’t worry folks Christian got it all back in the end. The bible says the lamb lies down with the lion in heaven. So in heaven he is again tame lying down with his lamb. He is no longer hungry seaching for food or being forced, tying to fight wild male lions for his pride he has his pride, his lamb that Christ gave him. We can not change the ignorant decision his owners made, we can only stand on scripture. Happy ending, some animials do go to heaven and Christian was one of them.

  77. Hannah Harris says

    Elsa died from tick fever.No one knows what happened to Christian.Lions only live like 20/25 years in the wild.They live less longer in zoos.

  78. Maxine says

    Hi everybody! I am so relieved that I am not alone in my love and affection for the cutest, most wonderful lion – Christian. I found out about this miraculous little being about a month and a half ago and ever since I’ve read anything I could find about him. I bought the books and dvds about Christian. There is a great movie out there, called “To walk with Lions” and it tells a wonderful, unforgettable story about George Adamson and Tony Fitzjohn and their life and work at Kora. A lot can be seen and learned from this movie. It is not about Christian but it says a lot about a wonderful man who introduced him into the wild – George Adamson. By reading books and watching the movies about Christian I feel the same as all of you – a deep, profound love and compassion for this remarkable lion. The very thought that such an amazing creature could’ve suffered either because of the poachers or the wild lions makes me cry. I just hope that somehow Christian has managed to find his way into the wild. All lions at the age of 3 usually go and look for the prides to join. So, Christian was just about the right age when he left Kora. In my heart I somehow believe that he has found love and companionship of the other lions and that he won their trust. Prior to leaving Kora, he has already spent almost 3 years in the wilderness and he has learned a lot from George, from his lion-friend Boy and his other lion-companions. Christian has proved that he can learn fast and addjust to any situation. I am sure that he made it successfully into the wild life and being so huge, more than 500 lbs, he must have imposed himself on the other, smaller lions. He probably could not come back to George because he has gone far and marked his new territory. Once a lion creates his territory, he fights for it and defending it, he even dies for it. He does not leave his place. I don’t think Christian could’ve left his new territory and his pride. He became a true lion and embraced all the responsibilities and habits of the life in wilderness. The life at Kora has changed him already and addapted him to the new ways of life. He was no longer a pet from London, but a true, grown lion. The fact that he never stopped loving his human friends doesn’t make him less of a lion, but makes him even more special and proves that lions have a tremendous level of undertanding and feelings of love, loyalty and friendship that can last forever. Yet, he had to go on with his life because there was no mid-way sollution at that time. He had to find his pride and his new territory. He knew it instinctivelly and I am sure that he did it. Even before John’s and Ace’s last visit he used to leave Kora for months and not come back. He must have been searching for a new territory and came to Kora one more time to say goodbye to his dear friends who had raised him. He had telephatic abilities just like so many other lions and must have felt John’s and Ace’s presence at the Kora Reserve. Christian was really smart also and I feel that he has understood that his place was with his own kind in the end. It was too dangerous to cross the Tana River, go back and forth, risk the life because of the poachers and other wild lions around Kora. And because of this risk and the fact that he found a new place, and probably had his own cubs that he protected in the pride, he followed his instincts and stayed at Meru. I think that Christian knew he was always welcome at Kora. If he was unhappy in the wilderness he could have come back. He did not have to leave Kora in 1973, yet he left because it was his instinct that he followed. His nature was reborn in him. He was no longer a slave in the human cage. He was a true lion in the heart of the wilderness and somehow I choose to believe that Christian has found his own way, his purpose and happiness. He became the symbol of the loving bond between the humans and lions. And a living proof that all God’s creatures are individuals, that they have their unique qualities that should be respected. Christian’s legacy is a message of love, respect and freedom. The wild animals should be given a full freedom to live in their natural setting and not in the cages. They are not meant to be the slaves and the puppets of the humans, but they are here to have their own free lives and contribute to this world in their own way. Everything happens for a reason. So did Christian’s brilliant existence. He was a bridge between us and the world of wilderness, a precious gift that showed us how love has no limits and how we should treat all God’s creatures with dignity and respect. God bless John, Ace and George. And God bless our Christian, wherever he might be – hopefully one day we shall be able to have the answers to all our questions and if we truly want to meet Christian in the afterlife, I am sure we will… love is eternal. A soul of the Universe that we all share, a love of God and His creatures, will make us see our little lion at the Heaven’s Gate. God bless you all!

  79. SHARON KERNS says


  80. SHARON KERNS says


  81. Lisa says

    I agree with he should have never been released into the wild especially once their already tame,they won’t even consider releasing a tame animal into the wild now a days because they know the fate and outcome and they find beautiful wild life sanctuarys to put them in,Actress Jessica Biel supports a wild life santuary filled with many tame lions and tigers that were found in captivaty and this sanctuary is amazing! these animlas are living the high life and it set up for them that they have tons and tons of land set up for them like their in the wild but their safe and protected,i would think that if any lion or tiger had the chance to live out a wonderful life of being fed and living in beautiful surroundings and being safe and protected they would prolly take it! these cats in the wild they have to live wildly and kill or be killed because they have no choice! but if given an opportunity for humans to help them and take them in a care for them it just doesn’t come along for them only some lucky ones have made it into these beautiful sanctuarys,according to the sanctuary that Jessica Biel belongs to it says large cats in the wild don’t live a long life but the ones that are raised in captivity do live their 20 to 25 year life span,if any of you know Georges lions never lived a long life and had heart breaking outcomes,Boy manage to live the longest to be 8 but he had to be shot! and poor Christian witnessed it and wouldn’t leave his grave site for days on end,Elsa died at age 5,the other two females that were the in that first group that George was trying to create a pride with Christian and Boy,one was killed by wild lions and the other was killed by crocs entering the river,if you all go to the site dedicated to George Adamson it tells the whole story of Georges and his lions along with many beautiful pictures but even George’s life ended horribly being killed by pouchers himself and his wife was even killed by a bandit,no one human or animal in that whole Born Free saga had a Beautiful peaceful ending it all ended tragically and if you read Georges real letters he wrote to his friends in the states they have published on his website George constantly was worried once he lost track of one of his lions that they most surely he knew had to of been killed by either crocs or pouchers,why would he have thought any different for Christian,i’m sure he told John and Ace he went on to live a wonderful life in efforts not to hurt them and thats the story that stuck.
    Georges website is

  82. SHARON KERNS says


  83. sonia hernandez says

    No you are not losing it. I to have been feeling the very same way
    after I watched the story I cried and cried and cried for a whole week
    and I am still very emotional on this topic. I love animals but ever since I saw Christian the lion, I love them more and respect them more, I wish
    people did the same there would be less animal cruelty.
    John and Ace and Christian were lucky to have had George Adamson
    or who knows what would have become of Christian, he was left in good hands.

  84. Hannah Harris says

    Too bad there were no big sanctuaries back in those days.Christian would have been very happy at the Wild Animal Park in San Diego.

  85. SHARON KERNS says


  86. Hannah says

    Sharon,in the book Ace and John did check out a animal park in England but decided not to put C there.I wish they had coz they would be able to visit him from time to time.They still don’t regret their decision but I can see them not wanting to see C locked up like his parents were in a zoo.

  87. SHARON KERNS says


  88. Manu says

    The only thing that will have calming effect with this Lion story is::

    Christian before the 2 visit by Ace and Joan actually didn’t visit the camp for nearly 9 months. And when he visited back again was exactly around the 2 visit by Ace and John.
    So its not surprising that Christian disappeared for years. Also he had his pride of 2 lioness and his cubs to defend from invading Lions. Usually a Lion rules a pride for an average of 4-5 years before being ousted by other Lions.
    The high probability worst fear is Christian and human conflict. The low probability fear is he may have been killed by other lions or killed by those monster crocodile in the river.
    But the more probability would be he ruled at least for 3-4 years before something happened to him.


  89. Manu says

    Ah one more thing that truck me today while searching Christian on the net is the statement in Wikipedia by George Adamson” He notes in his book My Pride And Joy that after 97 days, he stopped counting “.

    Now there is a possibility that something might have happened on 97th day to Christian.

    So here is my take::
    Scenario 1: Christian might have been killed by humans or lions on 97th day after George Adamson started counting in his Diary

    Scenario 2: Christian lived at least 3-4 years further ruling his pride and possibly fathering many cubs.

  90. Hannah says

    Manu,GA said in the book by Ace and John that he had not heard of any big lion being killed near Kora or at the Meru River Preserve.They showed the film again today on Animal Planet.Its sad that no one is left at Kora Park.Maybe Christian lived longer than many think coz he left Kora Park.The only human that left Kora Park alive was the Fitzpatrick guy who took over after Stanley died.I’m not that religous but I do hope that Christian is waiting at Rainbow Bridge for Ace and John.

  91. Carolyn says

    Yes, I still watch my darling Christian – though not every night – however, I do think of him every single day and at times I do feel disappointed and worry that he may have been so sad and felt deserted by his human family – I guess there were other options but I would like to think that Ace and John did give it some thought and I so pray Christian lives in Paradise today. According to GA – lions in the wild only live 10-12 years. Love you Christian. Sweet dreams.

  92. Hannah says


    Ace and John have said many times that during their last visit with Christian,he didn’t spend that much time with him.The lion wanted to be left alone basically.He had really become a ” wild lion “.I am sure Christian has been in a ” better place ” for the last 30-40 some years.

  93. Carolyn says

    Thank you Hannah – I like to think he is in a better place today with is old friends Boy, Katania, Mona Lisa and Mona & Lisa, Super Cub, Juma, George and Stanley and also Bill Travers – all gone to Paradise.
    Jen, Lions do not live for 100 years especially in the wild – they may live upto 12 years.
    Will always love Christian – my Aslan, and, look forward to meeting hime in Paradise, when I regain it!!

  94. Nadia says

    I shall take away many elements from this wonderful experience that will impact on the way i live my life today.

    To give chance and opportunity.
    To forge relationships without boundary.
    To demonstrate love and respect.
    To recognise & accept others’ love and respect.
    To give wings, however painful.
    To always hold belief.

  95. Kate says

    I found a short video clip on Youtube of Ace and John giving an inrview that I had never seen or heard before on a program called Sunrise. So I googled “John Rendall” + Sunrise and came up with what must be 10 min or so that I hadn’t heard before. You may have to poke around a little to find the right one. They only had audio but well worth the listen,

  96. faz says

    I only recently saw the youtube videos about Christian and like most people here I spent at least 3 days look at every news about christian. Since seeing the love this lion has given it made me think more about how selfish I am and I have already made changes in my life and my motto is be brave like a lion and live life to the full.

    I also spend a lot of time to decide if taking christian to Kenya was the right thing to do and I think it was maybe 90% correct.

    Anyway as a muslim I pray and asked God to ensure a resting place for christian and George Adams.


  97. Kim G. says

    Kate, I’m listening to that Sunrise Australian radio interview now. Thank you so much for posting it! Great hearing more details of the story.

  98. Hannah says

    Animal Planet ran the story again last night.If it wasn’t for Lisa Adams( a LA student )spotting the story online with the clips of them being reunited with Christian,the story wouldn’t have reached and touched so many.

  99. Carolyn says

    Thank you Faz for praying for a lovely resting place for Christian and George – I am sure God has taken care of them as they are indeed special. I still watch Christian at least 4 times a week and occasionally watch the dvd I have at home or look at his pictures in my book.

  100. Carolina says

    Maxine & Manu,

    Your posts made me feel so much better. I am hoping beautiful Christian had a happy life and wasn’t killed or agonized while he died wondering where his human companions were when he most needed them.

    As many of you are – I am obsessed with this life story and I think of Christian every single day, running a milliion possible scenarion in my head, tears, joy, sadness. A rollercoaster of emotions invade me every single day. I must be going crazy…

    However, my love and respect for animals might playing a huge part in these constant everyday thought of Christian.

    I also ask myself, how did Ace and John no go back after 1974 just to see if he would return the night before as he did on their last farewell.

    So many questions, thoughts, fears. No one in Kora had a happy ending but maybe Christian did because he was no longer a part of Kora he had left.

    ….but why did he never come back ever. Maxine and Manu give a great explanation. He had established his territory and his pride, he can’t just leave it to hang out with friends….

    You are now in a better place my Christian…

  101. says

    When I was a kid, I read on a Reader’s Digest from 1972 a history about two australian young men who lived in London and purchased a lion cub, and they called him Christian.

    38 years later, on May 3th. 2010 I watched through “Animal Planet” a documental about this.

    I was moved because it was the same history…and I started to remember everything about what I read on that magazine…the same authors, the same lion and the same history.

    It is amazing how the animals could act much better even though the humans about the respect and love they surrender to the humans, I mean, an animal will be your “fan” as long as you love them. Watching the whole documental gave me back this answer. I never thought it was a boom through “youtube” and also to hear some news of this history in my life, however it happened.

    God bless Anthony Bourke and John Rendall for sharing us their outstanding history of an urban baby lion who was settle into the wild life, the place where he came from.

    My best regards for everyone.

    Luis Puntriano. (

    La Punta, Callao – Perú / South America.

    May 5th. 2010 (14:50 hrs / – 5:00 hrs. GMT).

    Luis Puntriano

  102. David says

    When I first saw the videos of Christian I was enthralled by such a wonderful animal. He had real personality.I bought all of the material on him that I could – books, DVDs etc. He clearly loved John and Ace, and they loved him just as much

    But the longer I have thought about it, the more I think it was wrong to take him to a wild environment that he had never lived in and just didn’t understand. I hate zoos and circuses, but the alternative John and Ace were looking at was the lion enclosure at one of the UK safari parks, and somehow I feel that it would have been a far happier life for Christian there than having to live in the incredibly dangerous world he was taken to in Africa.

  103. Hannah says

    David,I feel most people agree with you on the lion going to a wild animal park instead.But the last time Ace and John saw Christian,he didn’t spend that much time with them.He would go off and sit alone.He had become more of a ” wild lion “.

  104. jean griffiths says

    repling to your comments,,,i too have cried for days cant stop thinking of christian and the love they shared,,,i hurt inside,,for him and pray he passed away in peace.i so want to go out to kora if only i org it,just to look where he roamed,,,,bless him,,i wish id met him,,iv never heard a story like this and never be so moved..animals are loyal,and your best friend,,,god bless you christian,,you angel,,

  105. Kate says

    Hi – last Sunday there was an hour special piece on Elsa and the Adamson’s on PBS – it was pretty good very factual about what happens in the wild and not idealized. There were a few clips of Christian with George and Tony Fitzhugh that were some that I had never seen before. Also on the “A Lion Called Christian” website there is a link to an interview with John Rendall ahout going to Kora with a group and what they found. He also states that the movie will be a reality.

  106. jonesss says

    this is a beautiful storyy filled my heart, made me fight to hold back tears, only thing i don,t understand is why they would stop going back to see him

  107. Riyaz says

    Dear Christian fans,

    Today I saw the whole documentary for the very first time. I am not sure, but I had heard about it before. Not sure if it was on the news.
    But it is a real touching story.

    I have no information on other lions, but it looks like this Lion was the first and only of its kind to be so friendly with humans.

    It also feels like there will never be one like him again.

  108. Derek says

    It looks like most people moved on from this but I’m gonna add my 2cents. I saw the video a year or so ago and was touched greatly by it. That was about it. Didn’t look further. When Whitney Houston passed away it made me think of this again. That song combined with the video is very overwhelming. I started digging more into it and watching youtube videos and really have been affected by the story. I’ve seen interviews of the next meeting where Christian stays up with them all night kind of like old times. But then, after resting, he goes back to his lions. There were many tragedies along the line during his story, especially with regards to ‘Boy’ and Stanley (the man ‘Boy’ killed) and the others of the first small pride. I read on a site (with a reference to the book) that supercub was killed by a wild lion. And this would have been before Christian left the park. Mona and Lisa, I’m pretty sure, were still with Christian. He was also potentially the largest lion in Kenya and so that would detract other lions from attacking him.
    I think the reason people are so moved, happy, and even upset about this is the following: Happy, because it gives the sense that you can “go home” again. There is that phrase that says “you can’t go home again”, and this sort of goes against that. Christian and John and Ace have moved on but still get to revisit their past and it’s a great experience for them.
    Upset, because we want to know what happened, but not just because we want to know what happened, but because we want this story to be perfect, to keep going. Ideally, I think, we wanted to see Christian meeting Ace and John in another 15 years back at Kora. Knowing Christian made his way up north like they have assumed, and is now coming back in his last days to his African home where his original friends, lion and human, were. And then he still recognizes them and they have one last day and night together, with all of his lion family around them. And then that next morning he passes on uneventfully with all his people and his lions around him, without pain. But he’s left the next generations of ‘Christian’s behind and they continue his line.
    In reality, this can be true except that the humans aren’t there with him, and he doesn’t come back to Kora, but had established in a new area like George had suggested. There is no reason to believe he died a bad death. He did have a pride, and it most likely grew.
    I would suggest anyone who has emotion from this to focus it on helping animals and people within their own reach (as many here have suggested). We can all have our own great stories like this!

  109. Derek says

    I think a reason this hit me personally so much is that: (A), I love cats, big and small, and (B), when my cat growing up, Cringer, died, I was home from college on spring break. I had seen him 3 months earlier for Christmas and he looked fine. He had a rear leg amputated earlier in life due to cancer. He was indoor/outdoor and it took a little while for him to adapt, but he became just as nimble as before. During the time I was away those three months, I think my sophomore year, he had gotten the cancer again near the same area. This time surgery would have had to go into his organs and the prognosis wouldn’t have been good for recovery. He would have had to deal with much pain, as well. He was 12 which was a decent age for an indoor/outdoor cat. He lost a lot of weight but still seemed very happy and had a good quality of life. He was kept inside a lot at this time, I think, as I’m sure he was more comfortable that way. Point is, during this week when I got back home he was extremely excited to see me. He was really “my” cat growing up. He stayed in my bed a few nights, and then the next day he just slipped into a coma. That night I slept in the guest room next to my room as he was in a cat bed in my room. I sort of regret not staying in the same room, but he wouldn’t have known that and I was pretty upset about it. That night he passed on. It’s as if he held on, hoping to see me again, just long enough to say goodbye. He couldn’t have known when I’d be back to visit, but I’m very thankful for he held on until I did.

  110. melanie says

    i only discoverd this story a week ago, and i have to admimit that, i too, have been ‘haunted’ by Christian for the past several days. I think it’s seeing the beauty in this loving relationship that knew no boundaries, but also wondering about what seemed like a such an uncertain and dangerous future for such a amazing creature – life in the wild could not have been easy for him- and i only pray that he lived the happy, full life that he so deserved. It’s so odd to be in love w/ a 40+ year old lion!

  111. Derek says

    A link to an interview where John Rendall mentions seeing Christian one more time in 1974. So, a third reunion. Ace did not make that trip, though. John says Christian is with his pride, still recognized him, but was basically completely wild. This is when he then takes off for good. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like there is any video of the third reunion.

  112. melanie says

    I have the book and for some reason, that 1974 reunion w/ John was never mentioned. It just said that they think hecrossed the Tanu river sometime in early 1973. I still have very mixed feelings about his release. I know these guys loved Christian and had his best interests at heart…but they were young guys in their 20’s and frankly, i think they may have been a bit mis-guided by Virgina McKenna and her husband and the whole born-free ‘mystique’. This was a tame, pampered lion. They say his release was succussful, but they really don’t know how long he lived. I can’t help feeling that he would have been much better off in a safari park where he wouldn’t have to fight for his life and there would be vets on hand….any number of things could have happended to him and he was an amazing creature…he deserved a LONG happy life.

  113. Kate says

    Occasionally I read Ace Boutke’s blog ( This time there was a link to an interview that John had done recent;y on BBc1. You may have to cut and pase these because they didn’r come out as links. I don’t know what I did wrong. Here’s the first link.

    At the ned of the video for the interview there was another link displayed that takes you ti another YouTube video that has film clips spliced together to some very nice music.
    Here is that one.
    Hope you all enjoy them.

  114. aivy says

    I just wonder if there were any tame lions after Christian that was sent to Kora? Not nowadays but during the mid 70s – early 80s? How many documented accounts of tame lions were succesfully introduced back to the wild?

  115. shirley says

    Found out about Christian almost a year ago. Wailed every day, all day for three weeks. I totally agree with you two. Why would anybody think an animal given a comfortable life style, if given a choice, would opt for the wilds of Africa? Christian never was there, so how could he go BACK? I also have sensed that both men feel some regret. I think he was the most beautiful creature that ever lived. He was special and rare. A gift. It hurts so much to even read these comments. I think it’s unfortunate that things turned out the way they did for him, but I can’t really judge the situation since I don’t really know what all the options were for Christian 40 years ago. I just know I could never have let him go.

  116. Silver says

    I agree, Shirley. Ace and John were quite young and probably had bitten off a bit more than they bargained for. Understandably they saw Bill Travers and Jenny McKenna as a lifeline. I mean, they were so young and didn’t have the resources to really do right by Christian by finding him the exact right situation. Already the community were pitching in to help provide for and feed Christian. So it is understandable that they would “buy into” the Born Free offering by the 2 movie stars. Not to take away from what Travers/McKenna did for Christian because they stepped up and gave him a larger place to live, and more proper living conditions as well. Christian was obviously very happy there and they were more than kind to do what they did for Christian and for Ace & John. I think it was Mr Travers who personally went to Kenya to meet with the government reps and negotiate for Christian to be permitted to enter their country. They went to a great deal of expense, it seems, to put Christian with George Adamson. Incredible, when you think about it, for without them, who knows what would have become of Christian. Ace and John were really in a tuff spot. They couldn’t continue keeping him in a basement.

    It just is wrong, imo, to put a tame and pampered animal into the wild. I just know Christian felt abandoned. He did have George Adamson, to a degree. And George never abandoned him.
    The time to return Christian to the wild through George was as soon as they took him from Harrods. IMO.

    When I watch that incredible clip that we all know as the Reunion, what I see is a young lion who is so joyful because he thinks his humans have come back to take him home. And he loves them and he wants to go home.

    I’ve seen Ace’s blog wherein he states that he has felt guilty for having kept Christian in London during that critical 1st year. I respect Ace for saying so.

    If John did, indeed, see Christian again, without Ace, then it would be wonderful if he would come forth with the details. Because he does not share that, it is my humble opinion that perhaps that specific reunion simply did not take place. All is jmo.

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