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Christian the Lion

Netlore Archive: Viral video tells the true, heartwarming tale of the reunion between Christian the Lion and the two men who adopted him as a cub in the 1970s.

Description: Viral video
Circulating since: 2008
Status: True

Email example contributed by Lisa V., July 2, 2008:

Christian the Lion

I just watched a video on YouTube about Christian the Lion. It's about these people that saved this lion cub and raised it and then released it back in the wild. Then one year later went searching for the lion and was reunited.

Screenshot of YouTube video: Christian the Lion
Click to View Video

Comments: Albeit in abbreviated form, this video (and several others like it floating around the Web) recounts the true story of a reunion between two men who bought a male lion cub at auction in 1969 and raised him in a London flat until he grew so large he had to be moved to a game reserve in Africa. He was called Christian the Lion.

Unaccustomed to living with his own kind, it took Christian awhile to acclimate to his natural habitat, but thanks to the expert care of wildlife conservationist George Adamson (of Born Free fame), he ultimately thrived.

When Christian's two former owners, John Rendall and Ace Berg, went back to visit him four years later, they found Christian heading up his own pride, including several lionesses and a litter of cubs. Any qualms they may have had about approaching the no-longer-tame lion were quickly allayed when Christian bounded up to them and threw his paws on their shoulders to greet them. After an exuberant, tearful reunion, Christian the Lion retreated into the bush with his pride and was never seen again.

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Sources and further reading:

Christian, the Lion Who Lived in My Living Room
Daily Mail, 4 May 2007

Cat Video of the Week: Lion Cub Hugs
Los Angeles Times "Web Scout" blog, 7 July 2008

"Christian the Lion" (Film Review)
FilmThreat.com, 18 May 2007

Last updated: 07/17/08

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