Happy Birthday Christian

August 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Christian

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTIAN! Thanks to Derek Cattani, Christian’s photographer, for this gorgeous Birthday Card.  Remember on his birthday last year Derek wrote beautifully about photographing Christian when I asked him which was his favourite photograph.  Many of you do ask about photographs of Christian, so do check out his archive  (and another Birthday Card) as well as the ALCC site.

This month also marks 40 years since we last saw Christian. By 1972 Christian had grown into what George Adamson thought may have been the biggest lion in Kenya – close to 500 pounds, and with more growing to do.  To quote from our book A Lion Called Christian, and my letter to my parents.

“We saw Christian every morning & evening for a walk and a chat.  He is much calmer & much more self assured than last year, and stunning to be with.  Just as silly.  Huge.  Jumped up on me only once as before on his hind legs and he did it extremely gently.  He licked my face as he towered over me”.

Despite his size, the local wild lions were still unrelenting in their opposition, and Christian was spending extended periods away from Kora and George assumed he was looking for somewhere more suitable to live. We realised this may mean we may never see him again…..

See our second and last reunion with Christian in 1972.

MAIL: Thanks to George from Florida for this fantastic photograph of a lion having a paw manicure and story.  George asked “did you ever do this to Christian?”  While he loved us, I’m not sure he would have allowed us, although his friend Unity Bevis- Jones probably could have!

Thanks to Gay for forwarding this beautiful slideshow titled Beaute Sauvage.

From Devi “I do believe our beloved Christian’s Birthday is approaching…HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR MOST CHARMING AND ENIGMATIC LION, CHRISTIAN. May your story continue to be told around the world for future generations. Celebrate in Paradise with your friends my beloved Christian. Will always love you”.

I couldn’t say it better myself.

ALDF: The Animal Legal Defence Fund have had a fund raiser for the various court cases they are fighting, and I know many of you support their efforts for Tony the Tiger especially. I just cannot bear to think of the months and years of his captivity…

In the Aboriginal bark painting section of my exhibition with Jenny Kee who was Guest Speaker at the opening.

In the Aboriginal bark painting section of my exhibition with Jenny Kee who was Guest Speaker at the opening

ACE BOURKE: A COLLECTORS JOURNEY: For personal reasons I am overdue responding to various emails, and I will.  I have also been very busy preparing for my exhibition which opened yesterday at the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre in southern Sydney. The exhibition is dedicated to my mother Patricia Macarthur Bourke (11th May 1922 – 23rd July 2012).

In the exhibition I examine the idea of “collecting” and all the material we accumulate in our lives which provides a map or diary of our lives. As an art curator – and traveller, I have collected alot of art, but most of us live surrounded by items of great sentimental significance and interest – which includes for me, memorabilia about Christian. An interview or “conversation” with me about the exhibition has been posted on http://www.youtube.com/hazelhurstgallery

The Tana River, Kora, Kenya

Detail: The Tana River, Kora, Kenya. Courtesy Born Free Foundation.

This is one of my favourite photographs as it sums up the relief in 1970 of finally getting Christian to Kenya after months of delays, and the necessary vigilance over his well being  and everyone’s safety in England. The photograph represents for me the freedom from restrictions, the beginning of Christian’s natural life, and to just…be.  Happy Birthday Christian.

Many of you will already have heard this very good news.  I was thrilled to receive this message last week.

I am still unsure when Tony will be released into the custody of the ALDF or an accredited animal sanctuary.  Many thanks for your support. ACE


Hi Ace

How are you? I want to thank you for supporting Tony. I don’t know if you already heard the news, but The Animal Legal Defense Fund was victorious in their hearings for Tony on Wednesday Nov. 2

The judge ordered The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to revoke the current permit and prohibited it from issuing any new permits to the Truck Stop.

Please see the update from ALDF here: http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1859.

Thank you again for caring about Tony and bringing his story to more people through your blog.

Dee De Santis

Tony the Tiger

Tony the Tiger

ALDF: Victory For Tony!! http://aldf.org/article.php?id=1859

ALDF: http://aldf.org/tony

Help Protect Captive Tigers in the U.S. – Deadline October 21, 2011 !! http://www.aldf.org/article.php?id=1801

Tony on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FreeTonyTheTiger

Tony on WordPress: http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com/

Big Cat Rescue’s Free Tony: http://www.freetony.com

Tony on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/FreeTonyTheTiger

Tony on Twitter:



Petitions For Tony:




“The greatest of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”