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You can read the Story of Christian the Lion beneath:
In 2008, an extraordinary two-minute film clip appeared on YouTube and immediately became an international phenomenon, garnering tens of millions of views and proving to be one of the most watched internet videos of the year.
The grainy footage captured the amazing and highly moving reunion of two young men and their pet lion, Christian, one year after they had left him in Africa to introduce him into his rightful home in the wild. Animal Planet’s A Lion Called Christian, an hour-long television special, tells the tale of John Rendall, Ace Bourke and their celebrated cub Christian through exclusive footage and revealing new interviews from the people who knew him best.
When John and Ace discovered a boisterous young lion cub for sale in a Harrod’s department store window, they were convinced they could give him a better home — at least for a time. The two purchased Christian the Lion and took him to their flat above the trendy Sophistocat furniture shop on Kings Road, in the heart of “Swinging London.” The charismatic and intelligent lion cub became a local celebrity over the next five months, and developed a bond of genuine friendship and trust with John and Ace.
But, as Christian grew up, it became increasingly clear that the lion cub could not stay in London. A Lion Called Christian tells the dramatic story of Christian’s journey across the globe, rehabilitation in Africa and eventual return to the wild.
John and Ace recall their highly emotional reunion with Christian the Lion, and a second rarely-seen, final reunion with a fully maned, three-year-old Christian. A Lion Called Christian airs Thursday, July 9, at 9 PM e/p.