BBC Witness: 40 years on, Australians’ reunion with lion in African bush still moves

July 28, 2011

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(Courtesy of 'A Lion Called Christian')
In 1971, Ace Bourke and John Rendall told their story in the novel A Lion Called Christian.

It's been almost forty years since two young Australians had an extremely close encounter with a lion in the wilds of the African bush.

Ace Bourke and John Rendall bought the cub, whom they famously named "Christian," on a whim at the London department store Harrod’s. When Christian grew too big for their flat, the men took him to Kenya to reintigrate him into the wild.

Their unlikely reunion a few years later in the African bush became a YouTube sensation decades later. Alan Johnston reports on why the world is still touched by their story.


This piece by Alan Johnston originally aired by the BBC World Service program Witness.


Watch the original YouTube clip here: