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Monday, October 17, 2011
"Christian The Lion, an Amazing Story"
written and recorded by John Robinson
In 1969, Ace Bourke and John Rendall, two young men and good friends from Australia arrived in London, England. They visited Harrods Department store which at the time were selling exotic animals such as snakes, monkeys, and birds. In one cage, Ace and John saw a baby male lion. The baby lion was not much bigger than a house cat. The department store wanted to sell the baby lion because it had escaped from its cage the previous night and destroyed a lot of merchandise in the store. The young men decided to purchase the lion and keep him as a pet. It was a very unusual thing to do. They named the lion “Christian”. The lion got its name from the fact that during the Roman Empire, Christians were fed to hungry lions as an entertainment in the Roman Colosseum. Christian was a very friendly and good natured little lion. However, John and Ace didn’t know anything about raising lions. They had to rely on their experience with different pets they had when they lived in Australia.
Since Christian was almost one year old and growing stronger and larger every day, Ace and John decided to take him to Africa to meet George Adamson. Adamson was a lion expert. He had a lot of experience with lions, especially helping lions not born in wild Africa to adapt to wilderness conditions. There were a lot of dangers and things that could go wrong. Adamson knew the dangers and how to avoid them. He met Christian and saw that the young lion was very strong, adaptable, and brave. He thought he could build a pride of lions with Christian as the pride leader. The wilderness was selected by the Kenyan Government. It was a site called Kora in north-east Kenya. This area was chosen because it was far from local villagers, hunters, and tourists. It was therefore the best location for a young pride to get started. In 1970, Adamson began preparing Christian to enter a natural life in the wild.
It would be challenging. Christian would have to survive in a difficult environment. He would have to learn to hunt for his own food. Wild male lions, always competing for females, would try to drive away any strange male lions. Christian had good instincts and was very strong, but he was young and had no experience of the wild. It would be a very difficult first year for him.
After a long search, Ace, John, and George came to a very remote place in the Kora region of Kenya. Christian suddenly appeared on the top of a rocky hill. He was much larger now, with a fully developed mane. He started walking slowly towards the two men, his former friends. He didn’t appear to be attacking, just curious. Ace and John were so excited to see Christian that they forgot about the fact that a grown, wild lion was approaching them. They smiled warmly at their former pet, and they called his name, “Christian.”
Christian was last seen in early 1973, heading in the direction of the larger and more remote Meru National Park. He had survived the most dangerous early years and had grown very big and was intelligent and brave, Ace and John realized that Christian had his own pride of lions and lived possibly another seven or eight years. Some lions living there now are probably his descendants. They are the relatives of a lion raised in a basement under a furniture store in London, England.
1. Ace Bourke and John Rendell ____________ .
2. The “Reunion” between John, Ace, and wild Christian took place ____
3. Ace and John ________________ .
4. When Christian grew to be much larger, _____________ .
5. George Adamson _______________ .
6. One difficulty that Christian didn’t have returning to the wild of Kenya was ______ .
7. An area called Kora in North-east Kenya was chosen for Christian’s new home
because __________________ .
8. Before their reunion with Christian, Ace and John felt __________ .
9. Another name for this selection could be _______________ .
10. This selection is mainly about ____________ .
Now, here is the amazing filming of the reunion between Christian and his friends, Ace and John.