Title- A Lion Called Christian.
Author- Anthony Bourke and John Rendall.
Publish date- 1971, 2009.
Publisher- Barton Press.
Two men spending time in the UK go into Harrods department store one day and see a lion cub, and immediately they realise they want to buy it.
I vaguely knew the story of Christian the lion before I read this; I’d got the book from the library but ended up returning it unread for whatever reason, but I was mostly aware of the story, and I’d wanted to read it still.
Here’s what I knew-
Two young men in the UK bought a lion cub from Harrods department store, lived with it and then it got too big/unmanageable and they took it to Africa, where they went back a year later and it recognised them. Cue reunion music and tears.
The fact is, I can’t get over how irresponsible the actions of the two men were! Animal trafficking is, of course, a horrible thing, and though in the revised edition they admit they weren’t really aware of it and wouldn’t want to keep it going, the fact they didn’t think or even really have more than a vague idea of what would happen when the lion got too big- because they knew they wouldn’t be able to keep it for very long, basically around a year- and the way they write about wanting to give it the best time it could have… felt somewhat disengenuine, to me. I saw two reckless young men who in turn saw a lion cub and decided to buy it, rather whim-esq.
Frustrating and making me more than a little angry at the actions of people, this was still an interesting story and I’m glad I’ve read it and at least got a clearer idea of what happened.