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 ®.
I have just learned that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has bestowed upon me the honor of OBE — Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire — for services to wildlife conservation and animal welfare. As many of you may know, my mother, Virginia McKenna, had previously received her OBE for contributions to the arts and to animal protection. Just as I share the joy of having started the Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA with her, I now share the honor of receiving this award.
If I could share this recognition with all of my wildlife heroes, who have fought, and are still fighting, for a more compassionate world, where individual wild animals do not suffer for our entertainment, our vanity or our “sport,” and where wild species and wild places are protected, respected and treasured, then I would.
In particular, I want to thank those who have inspired, encouraged and sustained my efforts, especially my mother, father and my entire family, my colleagues at Born Free – in the United Kingdom and throughout the world – and all our wonderful supporters and friends.
To be honored in this way, in this very special Diamond Jubilee year in England celebrating 60 years of the Queen’s reign, has left me, temporarily, almost speechless.
It is sincerely touching to have been nominated for this prestigious recognition and to know that my three decades of professional dedication to animal protection and wildlife conservation have been noticed. This accolade has inspired me to fight on — perhaps for three decades more! To do even more for animals. To support my friends and colleagues in our shared quest for a more humane world.
So please join me in celebrating together the noble cause of animal protection.