Born Free USA Blog
by Adam M Roberts,
Chief Executive Officer
When it comes to animals, Adam Roberts not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. Since beginning his animal advocacy career in Washington, D.C. in 1991, Adam's ambition, tireless involvement, and profound knowledge of conservation and wildlife issues have cemented him as a go-to voice for protecting animals — and he has elevated Born Free USA to the respected and impactful organization that we know today. Adam's compassionate, informed, and forward-thinking blogs will surely motivate you to join us in our fight to Keep Wildlife in the Wild.
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.
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.