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This morning, I watched a recording of an unusual reunion.
Back in 1969, two men adopted a lion cub. Within a year, the cub had outgrown the furniture store in which it had been living in downtown London, so the men contacted a lion specialist in Kenya to help integrate Christian, as they called their pet, into the wild.
It worked. Within several months, the lion had adapted completely. But the men hadn’t. They missed Christian, and came for a visit nine months after his release.
The video shows what happened when the three met up: the lion walking slowly toward his former caretakers, the men calling his name and urging him forward, the lion running at the men and then hugging them, literally throwing its enormous paws on their shoulders and snuggling up to their faces.
The men are grinning and crying while the lion repeatedly jumps up on them, pushing his fur against their cheeks.
I remember once I didn’t see my dog for a semester, and our reunion went nothing like this. I opened the crate when we got outside the airport, and he ran past me, looking for a good tree.
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