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Tag: Christian the Lion





Derek Cattani, best known as the official photographer of Christian the Lion ( the lion cub bought from Harrods by John Rendall and Ace Bourke in 1969), sadly passed away in the early hours of the 24th June 2024.

Derek has been a LionAid Trustee since April 2019 and a Director of the charity since 2022.

Since meeting Christian and subsequently becoming Christian's official photographer back in the 60's and 70's, Derek was able to take very many truly memorable pictures of this much loved lion cub. He was lucky enough to be part of the crew that took Christian to Africa where he began his rehabilitation as a wild lion cub in Kenya under the watchful eye of George Adamson. 

I am sure that the heart warming story of Christian the Lion might be very familiar to you all and I hope that some of you will have purchased copies of the stunning Christian the lion prints that Derek took during this gorgeous lion cub's lifetime. 


Derek always said that Christian gave him a lasting love of animals and especially the beauty of the wild lion that Christian became. 


Derek joined the LionAid Board of Trustees in 2019 worked tirelessly alongside us to try and help save the iconic lion from its relentless slide into extinction. 

He would regularly donate a percentage of the profits he made from selling Christian prints and books to  the charity and came up with many inspiring fundraising ideas and suggestions to help us fund our work.

He was actively involved in our project work in rural Kenya right up to the end of his life, helping us find innovative solutions to mitigate the human/willdlife conflict that results in the deaths of far too many wild lions. 

We are all very proud of the fact that since our project started in Merrueshi community, Kenya in September 2022, not a single lion or other predator has been killed in retaliation for livestock losses across the Merrueshi ecosystem.

Now, please look at the video below that Derek put together in April 2020. In this video he talks about LionAid and his enduring love of lions and explains the fundraising offer he put together to raise much needed funds for the charity.

If you remember, this was at the time that the COVID pandemic prevented the London Marathon from running so instead, a Challenge was mounted by a group of fundraising organisations, inviting participants to take part in fundraising events around the numbers 2 and 6 - called the 2.6 Challenge in honour of the original Marathon date, the 26th April. 

Derek responded to the 2.6 Challenge by putting up 26 of his favourite Christian the Lion pictures into a magnificent montage. Have a look at the video!

You can still purchase a copy of this montage and/or any of the individual prints and a percentage of all the profits will go towards LionAid's work. You can also purchase a copy of the book, Christian the Lion, the Illustrated Legacy signed by Derek - all supporting LionAid's work.

Derek would be delighted to know that his work is continuing to support lions. 

The signed book is available directly from LionAid at a cost of £40 each - please donate £40 plus £6.00 p&p (in the UK) : £46 here, plus your name and address.


The individual prints and the wonderful 2.6 Challenge collage are available here 


Or you can simply donate any amount to LionAid here.


Thank you. 

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 12:10