The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, founded in 1984 by the actors Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, OBE, stars of the iconic film Born Free, and their son Will Travers OBE, the charity’s President. Born Free takes action worldwide to save lives, stop suffering, rescue individuals and protect species.
From small beginnings, the Born Free Foundation has grown into a global force for wildlife. But a personal passion for wild animals and desire for positive change remain at our heart. Described by The Times as ‘Big enough to make a difference, but small enough to care,’ Born Free is not a big anonymous organisation, but a family of like-minded people who share the same goals. Our work to prevent individual animal suffering, protect threatened species and keep wildlife in the wild sets us apart from the rest. Learn more about Born Free history here.
This is why Born Free is supported by celebrities including Joanna Lumley, Martin Clunes, Bryan Adams, Rachel Hunter, Helen Worth, Jenny Seagrove and Martin Shaw. Together we reach out to the public, the media and our business friends, who actively support and fund our projects and campaigns, helping hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide.
Born Free never forgets the individual. Every animal counts. Our emergency teams rescue vulnerable animals from appalling lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care at spacious sanctuaries. Born Free saves orphaned big cats, great apes and elephants and provides their food and care.
As human populations expand, wildlife comes under increasing threat. Born Free is determined to try to halt the race to extinction by protecting rare species in their natural habitat. Working with local communities, we find compassionate solutions so people and wildlife can live together. Educational activities inspire young and old alike to respect the wild.
Our high-profile campaigns take effective action and provide animals with a voice. We capture the public imagination, change attitudes, inform and persuade decision-makers, and get results. Whether its fighting the ivory trade and ‘sport’ hunting, opposing killing wild animals for ‘bushmeat’, or challenging the exploitation of wild animals in zoos and circuses, Born Free takes action on the front line for animals.
Our major international projects are devoted to animal welfare, conservation and education, and protect lions, elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers, polar bears, wolves, dolphins, turtles, sharks and lots more. Through our Global Initiatives project we respond to emergency situations worldwide, participate in international coalitions such as the Species Survival Network, run the People & Wildlife project with Oxford University’s WildCru* department, and much much more.