Happy Birthday to Christian the Lion

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In 2008, YouTube.com featured an extraordinary two-minute film clip that became an overnight phenomenon. It shows the remarkable, highly moving reunion of two young men in 1971, Ace Bourke and John Rendall and their pet lion, Christian, after they had left him in Africa with Born Free’s George Adamson, who would introduce him into his rightful home, the wilds of Africa. The clip has now been viewed online over 40 million times and continues to grow.

Christian was born 44 years ago today in Ilfracombe Zoo, Devon. In the wild he may have lived to be 10 or 12 years old, and some lions can live up to 18 years old in a zoo. Ace Bourke’s latest blog features a note of Christian’s birthday today, as does the latest blog post on the A Lion Called Christian website.