Several years ago, I came across the now famous video of Christian the Lion who had been born in captivity and lived in a London flat with his two owners John Rendall and Anthony “Ace” Bourke before being released into the wild in Africa.
The video clip is of the reunion almost a year later when the two owners go back to Africa to visit Christian even though they are told Christian probably wont remember them. If you have not seen this video, I encourage you to do so because you will never forget what you see in this emotional reunion between friends.
Settle back with a glass of chilled Chardonnay or a cup of tea….
After seeing the video I had to do research and found that there was another person besides the owners that Christian had bonded with, that person is the amazing Father of Lions himself, George Adamson. George took Christian under his wing as he did many lions and showed him the ropes. George lived in Kenya, he had a camp there, he lived with the lions. Christian didn’t get dropped off in the wild, he was taken in by this amazing man who would act as a foster parent to Christian until he was able to stand on his own. Christian was the first lion in 5 generations of his to make it back to his original roots of Africa. Thanks to George Adamson.
George Adamson joined Kenya’s Game Department as a warden in 1938 but his journey really began when he formed a bond with a lion cub named Elsa. George’s wife Joy Adamson wrote a best selling book about their journey which was later made into a movie called “Born Free”. In 1989 George Adamson was murdered at the hands of humans, by Somalian bandits.
There have been many people in my lifetime that I respect but this man right here, this is the kind of person that I would like to be more than anything. His connection with these lions far exceeds any other I’ve seen and was built on kindness and respect. George Adamson looked to these lions as equals and through this equality he found friendship in an animal that has been thought to only be a hunter.
If you have the time, check out his website…you won’t be sorry, this was really an incredible human being. The photographs are amazing, these lions were truly his friends.
“Who will now care for the animals, for they cannot look after themselves? Are there young men and women who are willing to take on this charge? Who will raise their voices, when mine is carried away on the wind, to plead their case?” George Adamson 1906-1989