Man in 'hugging' lion video reveals its secrets
One of animal's owners tells story that still tugs heartstrings after decades

1969年,來自澳洲的John RendallAnthony Bourke兩人在英國合力收養了一隻小獅子(Christian),後來獅子長大了,野放回非洲。1974年,兩人想去看牠,但當時一起去的同伴George Adamson警告他們,認為Christian應該恢復野性,會有危險。但兩邊碰面的那一刻,卻是很感人的畫面。 






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更多照片與故事(1994年)
http://www.kimbawlion.com/christian.htm


(from dailymail.co.uk)


(from dailymail.co.uk)



(from kimbawlion.com)

1974年重逢的照片 Christian已經帶著太太和主人見面

(from kimbawlion.com)


(from kimbawlion.com)

1971年左右野放要離別前的照片  當時還很小隻

(from kimbawlion.com)


(from kimbawlion.com)


(from kimbawlion.com)

John Rendall & Anthony Bourke 現在的interview請點連結
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25797678/



相關報導全文:(含中英文)

By Mike Celizic TODAYShow.com contributor updated 8:59 a.m. ET July 30, 2008 

The decades-old footage of a full-grown lion joyously embracing two young men like an affectionate house cat has made myriad eyes misty since it recently landed on YouTube. What is it about the old, grainy images that has attracted millions of clicks around the globe? Is it simply that a lion, whimsically named Christian, remembered the two men who raised it and then released it into the wild? Is it nostalgia for a simpler time 39 years ago, when you could walk into Harrods department store in London, stroll through the “exotic animals” section, and buy a live lion cub? Is it a longing for the swinging Austin Powers-era London of 1969, when you could take the beast home to a basement flat, play soccer with it in a walled garden — and even take it out to restaurants in the back of a Bentley? The answer may be all of the above. But it may be something more: the indelible image of a creature that could kill a man in seconds behaving like a pussycat with two men it obviously loves, smack in the middle of the African bush.

TODAY played part of the video last week with little comment or introduction, and when the grainy footage, originally shot on 16-mm film, was finished, Meredith Vieira was among many in the studio wiping away tears.

Swinging London
The video is the work of Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall, two Australians who in 1969 were living in a hip section of London. Nearly 40 years later, Rendall expressed astonishment that one video of his reunion with his former pet had drawn more than 6 million hits as of this writing. (Two other versions of the video on YouTube have drawn another 6 million hits combined.)

“Oh, my God,” Rendall exclaimed from Australia when told how popular the video has become. “If it’s made people more aware and more interested in conservation and the protection of the environment, we’re very pleased.”

Back in ’69, Rendall was living on Kings Road, in the Chelsea section of London. The center of London’s counterculture at the time, Kings Road seethed with creativity and fashion. Even Mick Jagger once resided there. 

“It was more of less the center of that music, art, publishing, hairdressing world,” Rendall said. “It was a very exciting time to be in London.”

In the lingo of the day, it was wild. And it was into that milieu that Rendall and his friend Bourke would introduce something even wilder: A real, live lion.

One hump or two?
Going to London was sort of rite of passage at the time. “We finished university in Australia,” Rendall explained. “In those days, everybody in Australia went to England as soon as they got out of university.”

Having grown up in Australia’s sparsely populated outback, the young Rendall was agog at the capital of the British Empire. Where he came from, there was one store where you could buy any color shirt you wanted — as long as it was white. “If you asked for a blue one, they said, ‘Get lost,’ ” he said, but in slightly more colorful language.

So when a friend came back from a trip to Harrods, London’s famous department store, and told a story about her trip to the pet department, Rendall was understandably fascinated.

“Harrods has always claimed that they could find anything,” he explained. “Anything you’d want, Harrods could get for you.”

His friend decided to test that. “She said she’d like a camel,” Rendall said. “Without batting an eye, the manager said, ‘Would that be one hump or two, ma’am?’ I had to see the department store that was so cool.”


So Rendall enlisted Bourke to go to Harrods with him. “We thought we’d have a laugh at this,” Rendall said, “and there were these beautiful lion cubs.”

Love at first sight
The two cubs were in tiny cages in the exotic animals section. Like a kid enthralled with a puppy, Rendall instantly became smitten and determined to rescue one of them.

“I grew up in the bush in Australia,” he told TODAY. “I was pretty shocked to see this animal, even if it was three months old, in this tiny cage: ‘This isn’t right. We really have to do something about this.’ And right there [we] decided to buy him.”

The notion that one could buy a lion and move it into an urban neighborhood seems preposterous today. But in 1969 London, the improbable was not impossible.

Bourke and Rendall did have to go through a long process to prove they could care for the animal, and there were others who wanted to buy the cub. But the two friends prevailed, and soon the basement of the custom furniture store where they worked had a new and exotic housecat.

“We persuaded the owners of the shop that it would be great publicity for the shop if we had the lion live there,” Rendall explained.

“It’s something that can never be done again,” he admitted. “You couldn’t have a lion in central London.”

The lion whisperers
Inspired by the Bible and a sense of irony, Rendall and Bourke named the lion “Christian,” and the beast soon became a celebrity. Rendall said they took a “horse whisperer” approach to raising the animal, never restraining it and never using physical force of any kind. Instead, they indicated with their tone of voice what was appropriate and what wasn’t. 

“He could tell by the tone of our voice,” Rendall explained. “He knew that we wanted him to calm down, not now, let’s go, that sort of thing. We were very fortunate that we got it right. We ended up with a wonderful animal. He never bit anybody.”

The shop’s bottom floor became Christian’s den. “He had the whole of the basement. He had these toys down there — rolled-up old mattresses,” Rendall told TODAY. “He had his own kingdom downstairs, that’s where he slept.”

But when Bourke and Christian went out, Christian went with them, riding in style in the back seat of a Bentley. He even accompanied his human friends into restaurants. For exercise, they took him to a large, walled-in garden next to the furniture shop. Christian’s favorite pastime? Soccer.

Growing pains
After a year, Christian had grown from 35 to 185 pounds. Rendall said he and Bourke knew the lion couldn’t stay with them much longer. They weren’t worried about Christian attacking anyone, he said. It was more that he was so big he could break a window just by leaning on it. Who knew what other damage he could accidentally cause when he grew even bigger?

Fortuantely, actors Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna dropped into the furniture store one day, looking for a writing desk. They had just finished filming “Born Free,” the famous story of Elsa, a real lioness who was reintroduced to the wild. In the hit movie, the married actors played real-life naturalists George and Joy Adamson (Joy Adamson wrote the book on which the film was based).

Travers and McKenna suggested that Rendall and Bourke contact George Adamson. Soon Rendall, Bourke and Christian were all on a plane to Kenya, where they and Adamson introduced Christian to something he had never seen before: his natural habitat.

When the two friends felt sure Christian had a new family and a safe territory, they went back to their lives in London. But they kept in touch with Adamson and made a few visits to Kenya to see Christian from afar.

Emotional reunion
Their first reunion was in early 1972, a year after Bourke and Rendall left Christian with Adamson. It is this event that is shown in the grainy film that has become such a sensation on YouTube (although the captions on at least one version of the video misidentify the event as taking place in 1974.) 

The now-famous footage shows the cat approaching the two men, cautiously at first. Then, as recognition begins to dawn, the lion picks up his pace and leaps into the arms of his old roomies. 

The film is color, but has no sound. Subtitles have been addded to tell the story, but they’re hardly needed. There are two men in flared jeans and shaggy hair, and there is a lion. The huge carnivore approaches from a distance, slowly at first. Then recognition sets in, and soon everyone — men and beast — are hugging and crying.

Also in the original film are two lionesses named Mona and Lisa. They had been trapped elsewhere in Africa and given to Adamson to rehabilitate. Unlike Christian, Mona and Lisa had never set eyes on Bourke and Rendall before, but they came over to meet the two men anyway. If Christian vouched for them, these humans were apparently OK guys. 

A last farewell
But in 1974, Adamson lost touch with Christian for three months. When he told Rendall and Bourke, they decided to make one last trip to Kenya to try to say goodbye to their old friend.

The night before they landed, according to Adamson, Christian suddenly reappeared and sat on a rock outside the naturalist’s camp — as if waiting for his pals.

There was another tearful reunion and another romp. The next day Christian walked back into the bush, where his lionesses were waiting. He was never seen again — but the power of the Internet guarantees he will never be forgotten.

Now Rendall hopes that the sudden popularity of the old film will help wildlife conservation efforts. He has remained an active supporter of the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania and the George Adamson Trust. Tragically, Adamson himself was killed during local unrest 14 years after the video was shot.

Rendall doesn’t know who posted the first video on YouTube, but he doesn’t mind that they did. “It’s a lovely story and we’re delighted people are interested in it,” he said. “If they want to support the George Adamson Trust, we’re delighted.”



http://www.merit-times.com.tw/NewsPage2.aspx?unid=91603

英雄獅當貓養 風塵僕僕回歸非洲 30年老影片創600萬點閱率

【本報綜合外電報導】一頭成年雄師與兩名年輕人相見後,不但沒有發動攻擊,還與兩人如老友般擁抱。這段影片在YouTube網站上當紅,已創下超過六百萬次的點閱率。

一九六九年,約翰‧倫德爾和安東尼‧伯克兩名澳洲年輕人在英國倫敦一間家具店工作。某天他們在哈洛德百貨看到一頭被關在籠子裡的幼獅,兩人覺得牠可憐,用兩百五十個英國舊金幣買下,取名為「克里斯汀」。

他們把克里斯汀當寵物,經常帶牠去公園玩足球、有時帶牠上餐廳。出遠門時,克里斯汀就待在轎車後座。兩人一獅的組合,成了當地特殊「景緻」。

一年後,克里斯汀成了體重八十四公斤的大傢伙,約翰和安東尼意識到,他們沒辦法繼續把獅子當貓咪養。兩人正為此苦惱時,一對演員夫妻光顧他們工作的家具店,這對夫妻才剛完成電影《獅子與我》的拍攝工作,該片根據動物學家喬伊‧亞當森的著作改編,講述母獅艾爾莎回歸自然的真實故事。這對夫妻建議約翰和安東尼與在肯亞的喬治‧亞當森(喬伊的丈夫)聯絡。

兩人帶著十八個月大的克里斯汀,風塵僕僕抵達肯亞野生動物保護區。他們留在那邊配合喬治,幫助克里斯汀恢復野性。他們確認克里斯汀已有在野外求生的能力與安全的生存空間後,便返回英國。此後,他們一直與喬治保持聯繫,後來又數次重返肯亞,從遠方眺望克里斯汀的身影。

一九七四年,喬治一度有三個月追蹤不到克里斯汀,約翰和安東尼得知後,決定重返肯亞,希望能見到克里斯汀最後一面。

克里斯汀彷彿感應到老友將來訪,在他們抵達肯亞前晚現身保護區,牠就蹲在喬治帳篷外的岩石上。喬治警告約翰和安東尼,別太靠近克里斯汀,牠已回復本性,稍有不慎,可能命喪獅口。

第二天,約翰和安東尼在保護區叢林外等待克里斯汀出現。克里斯汀遠遠看見人影,先是慢慢走近,接著好像是認出了他們,於是飛奔向兩位前主人,一把抱住他們。牠把前爪搭在約翰肩上,像以前那樣舔他的臉頰,約翰也張開雙臂擁抱克里斯汀,牠又轉身摩蹭安東尼,就像是三位多年不見的老友互相擁抱、問好一樣。

克里斯汀此時已有了伴侶,甚至把母獅介紹給牠們,母獅顯得有些小心翼翼,但也接受約翰和安東尼的撫摸。喬治提醒兩人到了離開的時候,他們向露營帳篷走去,克里斯汀卻一直跟隨在後,一直待到晚上大家都回到帳篷裡。翌日,克里斯汀與母獅返回叢林,從那之後,人們就沒再看過克里斯汀的身影。

現住澳洲的約翰說,他不知道是誰把這段三十年前的錄影放到網路上,不過他不介意。「這是個充滿了愛的故事,人們對牠有興趣,我們很開心。」約翰希望藉此能讓更多人關注野生動物保護課題。

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留言列表 (10)

發表留言
  • jennifer12
  • 光看標題就好感動了!因為我有養貓知道貓科動物細膩的情感
  • 咕嚕
  • 都要流淚了!!!
  • 小象
  • 很感動~~好溫馨啊!
  • tzuyaya
  • 很溫馨...
    而且會想到「小貓咪要快快長大喔」的廣告:)
  • bb100
  • 實在太感人~~~

    bb家的小狗,還沒有他這麼乖喔(太有人性,應該用男性的他來"尊稱他")
  • fifiliang
  • 好感動啊~~
    動物果然是最單純的...

    Love Love
  • 楚
  • 即使是"野獸"~也有感情的~
    動人~~~~~~~
  • 悄悄話
  • 悄悄話
  • ivanalai
  • 人與動物雖然不可以利用言語溝通,但是牠們所建立的感情比人與人之間更深厚!
    雖然影片已經remove了,但是也覺得這事情十分感人
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