Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Incredible synchronicity: Movie "Born Free" frees another Lion. Handkerchief ready?

Received this from a friend who said "totally made me cry. . ."

Incredibly, right after the married couple who had just finished filming “Born Free” dropped into a furniture store looking for a desk, they ran into these two guys who had raised a lion and now didn't know what to do with it. (Born Free was a movie about the inspirational story of Elsa, the lioness who is reintroduced to the wild)

In 1969, Australians Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall lived in a hip section of London. Out of curiosity they went somewhere you could buy exotic animals (which wasn't unusual back then) and spotted a 35-pound lion cub in a small cage. It was born in a zoo and sold to a department store (!). Bourke and Rendall felt sorry for the cub and bought it inexpensively.

Inspired by the Bible and a sense of irony, Rendall and Bourke named the lion “Christian,” a name that became even more appropriate when the Vicar of the St. John’s Church, which called itself the “Church at the World’s End,” gave the young men permission to exercise Christian in the churchyard.

Rendall referred to the video below in describing the reunion. "You can see in that clip his body language," he said. "When he first starts seeing us, he's looking, looking. Is it us? Is it us? And then suddenly, he says, 'Right, this is them.' And down he comes. And there wasn't a moment that we ever doubted that it was going to be a wonderful greeting ... we never doubted it." 

But the video tells what you really need to know:

Today Show interview with Anthony and John (starts at 2:02):
 "It is pretty extraordinary footage and quite humbling. But it is sort of very beautiful, the response," Bourke told Vieira. "I suppose, 35 years later, to find that people are so fascinated by it and have so enjoyed it, is slightly overwhelming ... and all the comments on the YouTube site, they're so positive. It is marvelous that so many people are getting so much enjoyment out of it."

And here's the rest of the story ... (also see this longer story)

If you loved this, consider supporting the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust, as mentioned in the Today show interview.


  1. LOVE the video - had posted it on my site too - I think I'll hang out here for awhile and check your site out!

    Thanks for following me on twitter!


  2. You were right, that really brought tears to my eyes, Sarah. Thanks for posting it!