Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
For those of a certain generation (and many more besides) mention of the words “Born Free” evokes images of Africa, Elsa the lioness, Joy and George Adamson ... perhaps even my parents, Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, who starred in that classic, heart-warming film.
Update: On Jan. 24 the Tucson, Ariz., restaurant owner announced he was canceling plans to serve lion tacos.
It seems like a sick hoax to drum up business, but it’s shockingly true: Tucson restaurant Boca Tacos y Tequila is serving up African lion tacos on Feb. 16. Boca’s Facebook page is even accepting prepaid orders for the tacos.
Eighty-eight years ago, a notoriously egocentric newspaperman with more money than sense established what became the largest private zoo in the world — in his back yard, no less! By 1937, the Great Depression and his own extravagant lifestyle had done a number on William Randolph Hearst’s fortunes, and the zoo started to shut down. Today, a few sheep, tahr goats and sambar (large Asian deer) graze on the hilly 82,000-acre central California coast property that contains Hearst Castle, a popular tourist destination.
On Sunday evening, the PBS show “Nature” will be present “Elsa’s Legacy: The Born Free Story.”
It really is a "don’t miss" as it contains some amazing and wonderful footage from this remarkable story and (I have to admit bias here) my dear mother and late father.
As 2011 dawns everyone at Born Free USA is fully energized for a new year of helping the animals in need. Although 2010 was busy, exciting and challenging, we will not rest on our laurels. Not now, not ever.
One of our four top priorities at Born Free USA is to protect wildlife in their natural habitats. We recognize that nature is an extraordinarily intricate web of connections among plants and animals, and that humans — especially starting with the Industrial Revolution — disturb that balance all too often.
Usually I blog about wild animals and what can, or should, be done to protect them. Today I’d like to write about a person who has done such a lot to protect animals for a very long time: sensational British actress Joanna Lumley. She and my mother, Virginia McKenna, are close friends.
Imagine a zoo where monkeys are poked at by visitors as idle guards shrug their shoulders. Where the lone bear eats an empty cigarette pack, as the zoo’s other starving animals also waste away. Where the main “attraction,” a lion, loses an eye in a grenade attack. Where two elephants and a zebra are killed in crossfire between soldiers fighting a civil war. Where a mortar round destroys the entire parrot exhibit.