AVAAZ Lion Petition, Christian The Lion, Mugi, Kora, Lonesome George, Gorillas, The Aspinall Foundation

July 1, 2012

Mugi in his boma at Kora

Mugi in his boma at Kora

KORA: It is particularly exciting – indeed historic, that lions are being re-introduced to Kora in Kenya, the first since George Adamson’s death in 1989. Tony Fitzjohn, Field Director of the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust who of course lived at Kora with George (and Christian), is overseeing the rehabilitation of Kora and George’s camp, among many other projects.  After Tony sent me this photograph of Mugi recently, I asked him many questions on our behalf.  What is Mugi’s personality like?  How old is he?  What care does he require at this stage?  Can we help????  The spots on Mugi’s legs remind me of Christian’s spots that gradually faded. I think I also recognise that expression.  Apart from Mugi’s curiosity about the camera, he is about to playfully pounce!

Drawings from school children in Trieste

Drawings from school children in Trieste

I was very touched when these drawings of Christian were emailed from Italy, where these school children had just discovered Christian’s story. Thank you so much!

” We saw a story about Christian at school. He becomes our LOVE at first sight. We were so moved so touched .. SO SO MUCH! we are so happy for
 Christian and all of you.
 In memory of your beloved Christian we decide to draw something  for you and John. We have drawn Christian and after we have made  a stickers.
 Some of these we are sending you with an attachment. And if you want, we will be very happy to send you also some another via  ordinary mail. Only we need your addresses.
 
 Thank you both, including late George Adamson. CHRISTIAN FOREVER!!! MUCH LOVE
 
 Kids from Italy, Croatia and some other places living in Trieste,
 Italy:
 Giulia, Lorenzo, Martina, Gessica, Anna, Francesca, Greta,
 Francesca, Martin, Leo, Vera, Valentina, Alen, Giovanni,
 Francesco, Beatrice, Dario, Andjela, Anna, Marko, Anna, Ana,
 Anja, Dario, Denis, Vladan, Christopher, Noemi and Olga, teacher “

I also received an email from Nancy which I thought summed up very well the feelings many people have about Christian and the subsequent journey some embark on – reading relevant and fascinating books, and getting more actively involved in supporting wildlife and conservation issues and causes.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive your answer; I continue to “obsess” over Christian. I read Adrian House’s book “The Great Safari” The Lives of George and Joy Adamson, as you recommended and spent weeks on it. With my iPad in hand I must have researched every animal, person, national park, tribe, et cetera while reading it. You had mentioned in one of the many You Tube videos that this sensational interest in Christian is a cry for Africa. Indeed it is! I had never considered myself even a conservationist until Christian and since have begun to contribute to organizations. I believe it is no coincidence that he was named Christian as I see God’s hand all over this.

I also read Beryl Markham and am now going onto Elspeth Huxley. I repeatedly continue to view the reunion and am thankful Google has photos as well. I hope you and John realize the import of what you did and that you really have been used by God to change the hearts of men as certainly as I am proof. I will never be the same. “

AVAAZ:  It is hard to believe that hundreds of South African lions are being slaughtered to be used for “bogus” sex potions, and are also farmed for trophy hunters. Perhaps only 20,000 wild lions remain in Africa and may soon be as endangered as elephants and rhinoceros. This petition is designed to put pressure on President Zuma with as many  people as possible signalling that this brutal trade will hurt South Africa’s image as a tourist destination. Please sign the petition here.

Baby Sumatran Rhinoceros

Baby Sumatran Rhinoceros

GOOD NEWS:  The Sumatran rhinoceros is critically endangered and there are fewer than 200 of the breed alive. So the birth of this baby in Indonesia – the last refuge for them – is very good news.  It is only the fourth birth in captivity in 100 years.

Lonesome George

Lonesome George

VALE:  No such luck with Lonesome George, the last known member of the Pinta Island tortoise subspecies (from the Galapagos Islands),who has died, aged at least 100.  Despite years of efforts and various temptations, he was unfortunately unable to reproduce.

Kwibi

Kwibi the Gorilla

GORILLAS: I was of course very moved seeing Damian Aspinall return to Africa for his reunion with a gorilla called Kwibi who he had returned to Gabon in Africa five years before – one of 53 The Aspinall Foundation has returned. The emotion both of them felt was very beautiful and extremely touching.  Just as we were not frightened of Christian as he ran towards us in our reunion because we could recognise his excited grunts and facial expression, Damian says he was not afraid as he recognised the gorilla “love gurgle”.  It is heart breaking when Kwibi followed him along the opposite side of the river and called out to him during the night.  We have footage of Christian with a very worried expression padding behind our vehicle as we left Kora one time which can still make me cry (like now). When we had Christian in London Damian’s father John Aspinall  was well-known for keeping tigers on his country estate.  I suppose this was a ” least worst” option we may have had to consider for Christian, and so fortunately avoided. Damian took over 2 Wildlife Parks in Kent that were founded by his father, but he has a “deep loathing” for zoos and intends to return as many animals to the wild as he can.

Meeting Katania Young who was named "Katania the Lioness" at kora

Meeting Katania Young who was named after Katania, Christian’s cub friend at Kora

MAIL:  My condolences to Ray who lost his beloved dog Snoot, and I’m hoping Hélène’s ill diabetic cat Hermione is recovering. Our animals play such an important role in our lives and are a re-connection with the natural world we are increasingly estranged from.  They are family, and it is devastating when they are ill or if we lose them.

Drawings from school children in Trieste

Drawings from school children in Trieste

Drawings from school children in Trieste

Drawings from school children in Trieste

7 Responses to “AVAAZ Lion Petition, Christian The Lion, Mugi, Kora, Lonesome George, Gorillas, The Aspinall Foundation”

  1. Tanya Says:

    Christian is in his best place now, but the legend continuous…RIP Christian!…..You shall never be fogotten!…

  2. Devi Patarao Says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU OUR CHRISTIAN

  3. Hélène Says:

    Ace
    Tony Fitzjohn did such a good work to rehabilitate Kora’s camp with his great experience. George Adamson would be very proud of him. It’s really great that lions can be re-introduced to Kora’s camp and Mugi is beautiful like Christian was.
    I wonder if all that is a «sign» from Christian … ?

  4. Carolyn M Says:

    This is so exciting …. Another KORA at Kora…. George must be dancing in Paradise…. and so must Boy and Christian and all the other beloved lions …. and all those involved with George’s work Bill Travers, his brother etc…. Good luck to you TF ,,, I am overjoyed and doesn’t the young lion look like our boy Christian,

  5. Cindy Montani Says:

    Ace, I hope your cats are well, my Dexter just had his 9th birthday, he still acts like a kitten. Take-care, Cindy

  6. Susan K Says:

    Ace, I wonder if any DNA of Christian still exists?? Perhaps it could be in the form of blood drawn, hair clippings put into an envelope with your jounals or letters of the time, or anything that either yourself, John, Virginia, George, or Tony may have somehow retained and stored through the years? I mention this because if some DNA of Christian’s could be located, it could be tested with the possibility that any lions that Tony now comes across and works with in Africa, potentially could have their DNA tested and cross-referenced to determine possible descendents of Christian!! Hmmm…..what an exciting and possibly potential proposition this could be. :)

  7. carolyn Says:

    Christian’s story is universal!


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