The true story of "Christian the Lion"
Below is the last 6 minutes of the film Christian the Lion, with original soundtrack and commentary by Virginia McKenna.
“Christian the Lion’s amazing story took place a long time ago. In the early 1970’s it was possible, in the UK, to buy a lion from a department store; it was possible to keep that lion in a furniture shop; to exercise him in a church graveyard; to take him to the beach and to have him come to live in my family’s garden in the country.
Thankfully, those days are over. As we have learned more about the needs of wild animals and how inappropriate it is for them to be kept as ‘pets’ by private individuals, we have come to understand that wildlife belongs in the wild. That was the philosophy of George and Joy Adamson, that is the legacy of Elsa and that is the philosophy of Born Free today.
Ace and John did the right thing. They took a chance and with the help of my parents, Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, and with the incredible skill, dedication and understanding of George Adamson, Christian was given the unique opportunity to become a free-living, wild lion – to take his rightful place in the world
Christian’s extraordinary reconnection with Ace and John nearly a year after he had been returned to his natural habitat, is profoundly touching and deeply moving but we should remember that lions, tigers, leopards, elephants, bears, wolves and many other creatures are potentially dangerous – potentially lethal – wild animals. We should respect them as such. After all, Christian’s story is one of love but it is also one all about letting go.
Clip from "The Lions are Free" (1967) in which Born Free Foundation co-founder Bill Travers goes back to Kenya to visit George Adamson and some of the lions from the famous film that George has returned to the wild. The clip shows George and Boy relaxing together.