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 ®.
We are saddened to hear of the death of Knut, a young male polar bear being kept captive in Germany. His short life was a series of tragedies from start to miserable finish.
Sharks face many threats in today’s oceans, but the practice of “shark finning” is by far the cruelest of all.
Shark finning is a multibillion-dollar trade and a staggeringly gruesome practice. It involves cutting off a shark’s fins while it is still alive, and then tossing the poor creature back into the sea to slowly bleed to death, become prey, or drown.
What is it about wild animals that make some people feel that it is OK to inflict pain, suffering and death upon them? As I watched in horror the footage of our investigation inside the world of recreational and professional wildlife trapping, this question kept leaping to mind.
I want to share with you this piece that I wrote for the Guardian in England about our effort in the United States to protect lions:
My love of lions go back to childhood when, as a 5-year-old boy, I lived for a year in Kenya when my mother and my late father, Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — both actors and wildlife campaigners — were making the 1966 film "Born Free." It wasn't just Africa that entered my soul, it was the spirit of Elsa the lioness, the orphaned cub reared by naturalists George and Joy Adamson, whom my parents played in the film.
Born Free USA was disappointed by the California Fish and Game Commission's decision to retract a ban on the issuance of import permits for live non-native turtles and frogs for human consumption. We saw the ban as an important step forward in protecting our native wildlife.
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.