A very special lion who was responsible for my interest in lion conservation is still in the news, thanks to Oprah Winfrey. Recently, Oprah featured Christian's famous YouTube video on her OWN channel as part of her Oprah's Lifeclass series. Christian was successfully released back into the wild with the help of "The Father of Lions" George Adamson. The famous video showing the reunion between Christian and the men who raised him (Ace Bourke and John Rendall) can be seen here:
While I think it's absolutely wonderful that Christian continues to inspire people (as he did me), I wish Oprah had taken a moment to briefly speak about the drastic decline in the lion population and its impending extinction (in as few as ten years). It would have been a great platform to raise awareness about this very important issue. Many people aren't even aware that the lion is at risk of extinction.
The footage in the video was filmed by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, who went on to found the Born Free Foundation, one of my favorite wildlife conservation charities. Here's the article Born Free's Will Travers (Bill and Virginia's son) recently published about Oprah's coverage on Christian. All text and graphics below are the property of Born Free USA. If you'd like to donate to Born Free (a Christmas gift of a donation in someone's name, along with a stuffed lion, is a great gift), you can visit their donation site here:
Christian the Lion Continues to Inspire
Last night's edition of the cable TV program "Oprah's Lifeclass" featured video clips of Christian the legendary lion — who'd been rescued from a London department store and returned to the wild — being reunited with his former owners. The segment was narrated by Oprah Winfrey, who evidently was moved to tears by the footage.
Christian's stunningly heart-warming reunion with his two human friends, captured in a documentary by Born Free co-founders Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna (my parents, I'm extremely proud to say), went "viral" on YouTube and has inspired millions of people worldwide. Christian, by the way, spent four months living in my garden before being released to the African wild!
See a slideshow in which my mother recalls details of Christian's life.
Enjoy footage my parents took of Christian's reunion with his human friends.
Watch the "Lifeclass" Segment about Christian.
And please help spread the word by forwarding this e-mail to your family and friends, and consider posting it on Facebook and Twitter so that all your contacts will have the chance to see Christian the lion's reunion and to learn more about how Born Free USA works to protect lions.For the animals,
As always, thank you for reading. Please help us save this beautiful iconic species from extinction.