HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTIAN!
August 12, 2014
Christian was born on the 12th August 1969 in Ilfracombe Zoo, Devon, UK. As most of you are aware, we don’t know what happened to Christian. He was last seen by George Adamson in 1973 setting off in the direction of Meru National Park, Kenya. We like to assume he created his own pride and lived happily for quite a few more years. Free. Lions live approximately 10-12 years in the wild, although up to 18 years in captivity.
These photographs are stills taken from my Super 8 footage on our visit to Christian in 1972. I never saw Christian (or George Adamson) again.
I don’t advise kissing lions – unless you know them very very well! George Adamson loved lions above all other animals, especially their capacity for love and trustworthiness. However, he did say “why should we expect lions to be more trustworthy (and predictable) than humans?”.
Miraculously, we did not have one incident with Christian. He could be mischievous, naughty and boisterous – but he was never anything but loving with us. He seemed to know our circumstances were unique, and that he could trust us implicitly.
Of course I appear a hypocrite now, protesting about wildlife sanctuaries that farm lions and encourage cub petting and walking with lions. Our circumstances and our relationship with Christian were different however, although we now accept we should never have been allowed to buy him and that we were participating and perpetuating the trade in wild animals.
Part of Christian’s rehabilitation by George Adamson in Kenya was to minimise his contact with humans as in the future they would be a threat to him and vice-versa. This is probably why Christian was initially cautious as he walked down the hill towards us when we had our first reunion with him in 1971.
World Lion Day was celebrated everywhere. Thanks for your responses – and apologies to any organisations and websites I didn’t mention last blog – like Great Cats of The World. They re-blogged, and linked to similar blogs and Facebook pages. View here.
Last night I attended a lecture by Professor Peter Singer of Animal Liberation fame. He was asked when did he become aware that animals have feelings – are sentient beings. He replied it was just obvious growing up with the family cat Buddy. I think most of us have had similar realisations. Of course his lecture about the major issues we face – like poverty, farming of animals, climate change etc was hugely instructive. Apart from becoming vegans, he did emphasise that if we want to contribute, we can donate to the many causes close to our hearts.
TONY THE TIGER URGENT ACTION: We have been asked to urgently circulate and sign these petitions by August 17th for Tony the Tiger, still in his cage at the truckstop in Louisiana, USA
Petition 1 – Sign HERE.
Petition 2 – Sign HERE. After signing this petition, an email will be sent to you & you must click the link in the email to verify your signature and make it count!
Tony’s continuing imprisonment despite the efforts of so many people makes me feel very frustrated as a blogger and an animal rights advocate. However, I am told that when I ask if you would consider signing petitions I think are important, there is a discernible spike in signatures and that makes me very very appreciative of you all. As a group – we can make a difference!
But this is Christian’s day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I find it extraordinary the spell he still casts over me – and many of you. Now more than ever we need to make the world and all who share it more united, compassionate, loving, thoughtful, and caring……