Thursday, April 09, 2009

George Adamson - The Father of Lions

By now everyone knows the story of Christian, the lion owned by John Rendall and Ace Bourke in London, England and who was sent to Africa to live a natural lion's life. But rarely mentioned in connection with Christian is the man who made it possible for Christian to make that transition: George Adamson.

Christian was well socialized to life with humans. But to live in the wild in Africa, he had to be socialized into lion society--he had to learn how lions lived. George Adamson was the best person in the world to achieve this. He was often called "The Father of Lions" because he knew lions so well and worked with so many.

There is a little-known film, "The Lions Are Free", that is the story of how George Adamson took some of the lions that were used in the making of the movie "Born Free", and taught them how to live as lions. He helped the seven lions form a pride, and they ended up living successfully on their own.

But, like Christian, they never forgot the people they knew so well. In the film, Bill Travers (who played George Adamson in "Born Free") returns to Africa to see how the lions are getting on. Adamson takes him to where the pride is living, and soon Travers is greeted by these 7 full-grown lions--some of whom he hadn't seen since they were very young cubs--with "more affection than my own dogs back home"!

Here are a couple of brief scenes from "The Lions Are Free". The first shows the pride greeting Bill Travers.

The second shows George Adamson and Bill Travers on an outing, having a pleasant walk through the African savanna with the lions.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, in watching the clips about our beloved Christian, and thanking Messrs Bourke and Rendall - the Father of the Lions, George Adamson has taken a back seat - and yet, it all would not have been possible without him - I am so very sad that he died the way he did - by the worst type of human being - I would like to think he is with his beloved Joy, Terrence and Boy, Elsa, Katania, Super Cub Juta and the others and of course our Christian. May his soul Rest In Peace - I have no doubt he is in Paradise even now.