I always think of you and wonder what your life would have been like if kind, generous and determined people hadn’t brought you back to Africa.
Having been born in captivity in Devon and put on sale at a department store, your future seemed to be limited to a cage in a zoo or a circus.
Fortunately, Ace John and George changed your fate and gave you the chance of walking around the savannah.
At the beginning it must have been difficult to survive in a hostile environment, facing wild animals and struggling to get your food. However, you weren’t confined to a life behind bars. Christian, you were FREE.
From an English zoo to the wilds of Africa, you made a long journey in such a short time.
In my dreams I have different flashbacks. I see you as a lovely playful and mischievous cub at Sophistocat or chasing a ball at Moravian Close. Then it’s time to leave London and find a new life in the right place, so far away. Now you are at Kora, where the touching reunion with Ace and John takes place. You look bigger and stronger. Nevertheless, you are still sweet and affectionate with them. Finally, I have a last image of you. It’s a photograph on the rock overlooking George’s camp. The caption reads: “Christian surveys his kingdom at Kora.” And that is how I choose to keep you in my mind and heart forever: a beautiful independent young lion spreading the power of his presence over the plains of Africa.
The efforts of Ace, John, George, Tony, Virginia and Bill paid off. I’m sure they were so satisfied with your successful adaptation and so proud of you!
You made it Christian.
Some might say that your case was just a small amount of what could be done in favour of wildlife conservation. But when somebody told Mother Theresa of Calcutta that her work was a drop in the ocean, she replied that “the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
I wish all animals were as lucky as you and had the chance of being respected in order to live free in their habitats.
You are an inspiration to those who can make a change, defending animal rights and protecting endangered species and I hope they remember you whenever they have to make a decision.
Christian, your story is so special and overwhelming to people all over the world because it combines universal and timeless values and feelings: fun, emotion, friendship, understanding, determination, courage, sacrifice, effort, dignity, and, above all, love, trust and respect for life and freedom.
Thank you and all the people involved in this remarkable and unforgettable experience for showing us that a better world is possible.