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Following a summons from his ex-wife, Christine, American lawyer Robert Hayward arrives at the East African game reserve supervised by John Bullitt, Christine's new husband. Christine asks Robert to help bring up their 11-year-old daughter, Tina, who accepts primitive tribal customs. (Her greatest friend is a full-grown lion she has raised from a cub.) The affection between Robert and Christine gradually rekindles, and Robert adds to the mounting tension when he violates a tribal law by saving the life of a dying chief who has been abandoned. Once recovered, the chief returns to his tribe and his son, Oriunga, who has wanted to take over the tribe and claim Tina as a wife. The chief, however, tells him that he will never be a chief until he has killed a lion. When the son chooses Tina's pet as his victim, the young girl orders the beast to kill the warrior. After the lion has fatally mauled Oriunga, Bullitt is forced to kill it. This act affects Bullitt's relationship with Tina, who now accepts Robert as her father. Facing the inevitable, Bullitt gives Christine permission to return to America with Robert and their child.