Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Video clip shows the reunion of two men with Christian, a lion they had raised as a cub.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, June 2008]
Origins: In 1969, Australian John Rendall and his friend Ace Bourke (whose surname is often rendered as "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.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
"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
Harrods, it turned out, was also quite keen to be rid of Christian, who had escaped one night, sneaked into the neighbouring carpet
The store, which had acquired the cub from Ilfracombe zoo, happily agreed to part with him for
By chance, one day Bill Travers and Virginia
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 reunion with Christian in 1971.
Last updated: 7 July 2008
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