A Lion Called Christian, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


In 2008, a YouTube clip became an internet phenomenon.

It showed the emotional reunion of two young men and their pet lion, Christian, after they had left him in Africa to be introduced into his rightful home in the wild.

Anthony 'Ace' Bourke and John Rendall visited London from Australia in 1969 and bought a boisterous lion cub in Harrods.

But Christian soon grew from cuddly cub to King of the Kings Road in London, and the only way to avoid him being incarcerated in a zoo was to place him under the expert care of George Adamson in Kenya.

Ace and John did not return to see their lion for a year. "A Lion Called Christian" tells their touching story, accompanied by stunning photographs.

It's a unique and extraordinary tale of its time that resonates again today with a worldwide audience, thanks to the internet age, and is destined to become one of the great classics of animal literature.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Biography: general
  • ISBN: 9780553820607

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A lovely updated version of the 70s book written by two young Australians who became besotted with a lion cub for sale in Harrods and decided to take him home (as you do)... They lived with him in London for a year, first in a furniture shop, and then they were taken under the wing of Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna (of <i>Born Free</i> movie fame) who built a compound for Christian on their country estate just outside the city. From there he was flown to Kenya to be rehabilitated into a new wild pride by George Adamson (of actual <i>Born Free</i> fame), with Ace and John staying in the camp alongside him for several months. The book is updated to include the YouTube-famous reunions between Ace, John and Christian, first after a year, then again after two; the footage of a fully grown wild lion running to greet his old friends after all that time apart went viral and brought Christian's charming story to a whole new generation. The delightful stories from Christian's year in London are so funny and sweet, and his intelligence and playfulness make them a joy to read. Whether they're playing football in the garden, or Christian is playing coy with them, climbing onto their knees for a cuddle, or practising pouncing on shop customers from behind the furniture, the affection between the trio glows from every page. Oh, and there are photos! Highly recommended for lovers of heartwarming wildlife stories and cats of <i>all</i> sizes...

Also by Anthony Bourke