Christian the lion: an interview with Ace Bourke



Publication Details

Boyde, M. J. ([2013], 2014). Christian the lion: an interview with Ace Bourke. In M. J. Boyde (Eds.), Captured: The Animal Within Culture (pp. 43-59). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9781137330499


This interview explores the story of a lion cub purchased at Harrods department store in London in 1969 by friends Ace Bourke and John Rendall. The cub's parents, inmates of Ilfracombe Zoo in Devon, had their first litter of four cubs taken from them - two were sold to a circus and two to Harrods 'Zoo', in reality an exotic animal section of the shop. Ace and John, after graduating from university and working to save money to travel, had not long arrived in London from Australia, and on a sightseeing trip around the city, they went to Harrods where they, very unexpectedly, saw two lion cubs in a small cage. The young men sat with them for hours. They found the male cub 'irresistible' and decided to buy him. They called the cub Christian and for the next eight months of his life he lived with them in London.

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