Born Free

3 Feb

Last month, my Tivo recorded a PBS nature program called “Elsa’s Legacy: The Born Free Story”. I have watched it several times.

I suppose everyone knows the “Born Free” story – the 1966 film based on the 1960 non-fiction book by Joy Adamson – she and her husband George (a game warden in Kenya) became “parents” of a lion cub they named Elsa. When Elsa was three years old, Joy and George trained her to hunt and survive in the wild. Elsa was their friend until she died, but she also mated a wild lion and had 3 cubs of her own, in the wild.

Joy’s book was hugely successful, and the movie even more so.

I remember seeing the movie as a little girl, and crying my heart out. I’m sure that I would cry just as much if I saw the movie today.

Here are some pictures from the PBS special:

It is such a remarkable story. And even more so if you read the autobiographies and biographies of Joy and George. Eventually they separated and did their own terrific works with animals. Sadly, they were both individually murdered, first Joy by an ex-employee and years later, George by poachers.

On George’s website, it reads in part:

“Some persons worried for the safely of George and Joy living with animals that could pose a danger. But what killed both George and Joy is the most ruthless and dangerous predator of any in existence, humans.”

There is a Born Free Foundation

A nice site with much information about George

“Even with the offers and opportunities that came with fame, Joy and George Adamson chose to remain in the wilds of Kenya. They continued to care for and study the animals that had become their life’s work, living in this harsh and isolated environment amidst wild and untamed predatory cats. Their unfortunate deaths at the hands of humans, motivated by simple greed, makes for an ironic contrast.”

Speaking of great cats and their people, The Samster is home. The doctors and vets have no idea what caused him to become so ill that he nearly died, but he is home and eating and getting better.

He’s a little unhappy about his bald spots, and his medications.

But he sincerely thanks everyone for caring, and Hubby and I thank you all, too!




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