At 7 pm on Tuesday night I hope you and millions of other caring, compassionate people watched Elsa: The Lioness That Changed The World on BBC2.

But what were you doing at 8pm?

Clearing away the tissues?
Putting on the kettle?
Pouring a stiff drink?

Or deciding to get in touch with Born Free, answering Elsa’s call and pledging to join us in one of the greatest challenges of our time – to protect the natural world and save wild lions and other creatures from persecution and destruction at the hand of mankind?

Don’t let that moment of inspiration evaporate!

Don’t put your decision off ‘until later’!

Lions need you, the natural world needs you, Born Free needs you!

So as of 8 pm on the 1st of February 2011 – do something amazing and do it right away!



Join Born Free here >

PS If you missed the film it’s on BBC iPlayer now

40 Responses to “NOT A MOMENT TO LOSE!”

  1. Charly Says:

    Hi There

    Please could you tell me if you have a Facebook page? The documentary was amazing, i’m off to donate now. I’ve been a fan of Christian the Lion but didn’t know so much of Elsa. Very touching and an absolute tear jerker – particularly in admiration for so few people who have achieved so much.


  2. Barbara Says:

    What a fantastic programme well it had me in tears to think they were both killed doing something wonderful for the lions.
    How could two such wonderful people have been killed in such a way,
    the lions had such a wonderful time with them, 10 lions killed.
    So tragic, now only 1000 lions left in Kenya.
    Something must be done to save these beautiful animals.

  3. Will Travers Says:

    Yes – our Facebook page is at

  4. judith amos Says:

    I was putting away the tissues and having a diet coke !! I saw the places that I am hoping to visit next year, the film of your Mum at Tana River and the tree was fantastic. Was that the Magna Carta Tree please? I was hoping to go on holiday with Born Free Foundation, but as yet I havent seen a holiday actually specifically located at Elsas Kopje and Kora, are you likely to arrange one just to those areas please ? Fantastic footage of George and Joy and I was really very interested in Kora and I am hoping to see the 3 graves of George, Boy and Sweet Supercub aswell. I would much prefer to go on holiday with Born Free Foundation if you are arranging a holiday just to Meru and Kora.

    Congratulations to you all on the wonderful documentary and your work for big Cats !!!!

  5. Paul Phillips ex CFTW Says:

    Hi Will, hope all is well with you and the family. Have just watched the the BBC2 film. It was excellent, a real hart string jerker, your mother must be complemented for her part in it. I never knew much about the life of George after Elsa, it was a real eye opener, I shall find out more about his work. So much is happening in the world your charity must be stretched very thin. Keep up the good work and please pass on my warmest regards to your mother. Regards Paul Phillips

  6. William Says:

    God i have to say i only turned it on by accident and i haven’t wept so continously for so long for years! I can’t describe the deepest conntection i felt with all the characters in the documentary. I felt George was simply one a very small group of humans that saw things so clearly and without harmful dimensions or selfish motives and thank god he lived and loved so selflessly to inspire us to care for what is now so rapidly slipping from our hands…..
    William, Godalming 29.

  7. Richard P Stewart Says:


    I watched the program with intense interest and suppose I was one of many who shed a tear at the end not only because it was a wonderful story which I found both inspiring and uplifting but more so the desperate plight of the Lions and other wild animals throughout the world.


  8. Jill Says:

    Have been glued to the wonderful documentry tonight.
    Have read the books,seen the film,cannot get enough information.(Even my dog named Elsa)
    Let it inspire people to think again of these wonderful creatures,and never forget the devotion of Joy and George Adamsonn

  9. Lesley Ramm Says:

    The programme took me back to when i was 13 and in hospital having my tonsils out – and reading Born Free. I cried again watching this wonderful programme. Joy and George did so much for lions and deserved better endings. But Elsa is their legacy – a truly amazing one. Quite a unique animal. Have made a donation. Thanks for all the good work the Travers/McKenna’s have done over many years.

  10. Julie Says:

    I saw Born Free approx 20 times when I was young. That joy and sadness for the lions has stayed with me all this time and I was in tears again watching the documentary. I am online now to join the Born Free Foundation and would be interested in a holiday with the Born Free Foundation.
    I have all the books and the one on Christian too.
    My very first gymnastic competition for floor exercise was performed to Born Free.I own my own boarding cattery now and love cats big and small.

  11. ceri Says:

    I also turned over from the drab Eastenders…..and what a joy. I knew I’d start blubbing as soon as the music started. The couple were amazing an absolute heart warming story which had me hystercial…still in bits now! The love for the lions was unbelievable. Must get the book!

  12. Toni Archer Says:

    my ten and six year old boys have just watched this and now have gone to bed. My six year old is asking what he can do to help the lions. It really is remarkable to see how this film hass touched them both. We all felt the distress of seeing Joy and George’s livees taken.

  13. Melanie Antonio Says:

    Thankyou so much for that most heart felt documentary, It gave a very real insight into the love given to the lions (and other big cats)by Joy and George Adamson. It made angry that Joy and George had to give their lives for their undying love, but at the same time they have become heroes to me, and although I never knew them there will always be a place for them in my heart.

  14. Maggie Says:

    Really enjoyed the Documentary about Elsa the lionness that changed the world, all the work Joy and George done for the Lions. My eyes were opened during the programme, as to the plight of the lions in Africa, and if it wasnt for Virginia and her Late husband Bill,setting up the Born Free foundation all the Lions and other animals they have saved and rehabilitated would be just statistics in the ever dissapearing wildlife. Im sure Bill was beside Virginia in the making of the programme.
    Keep up the good work. And i want to learn more about the foundation

  15. Susie Norris Says:

    I am trying to get something to eat but still feeling very moved and tearful after watching this amazing programme. What an inspiring story…. Since watching the film Born Free as a 7 year old it has always been my dream and goal to work with lions in Africa and now it is time I realised my passion and my dream.
    Thank you so much for making me wake up… A beautiful programme and I am joining you and will help in any way I can.

  16. Holly Says:

    I have been a supporter for many years now and walked the odd mile or two when at school to help raise money for the fab Born Free. If possible I would be very intersted in making a Lion mascot for you to help raise more money, and be more active again with my support. You guys truely are amazing and made a fantastic programme in honour of everyone who has worked and been apart of Born Free.

    All the best for the future

  17. Kate Says:

    A completely inspiring programme..I am ashamed to say that I have never seen the film or learned about Born Free despite being an animal (and particularly cat) lover. That is all going to change now that I have happened upon this documentary: I have adopted Sinbad and will continue my research into the foundation and do everything I can to support and help the wonderful work being done.

  18. Caroline Gray Says:

    I found myself sobbing right from the beginning of the programme – I was amazed by the deep emotional impact it had on me.
    I kept thinking about the horrific trade there is in ‘canned’ wild animals, including lions. These are purposely reared for ‘sport’ so that hunters can shoot them. I will never understand how humans can contribute to this disgusting money-making trade and enjoy shooting a defenceless wild animal dead.
    Many years ago I read a wonderful book called “My Pride and Joy” written by George Adamson. I read it from cover to cover within a day, then lent it to a friend, I don’t recall who, but unfortunately it wasn’t returned. I’ve been unable to find another paperback copy since.
    I’ve just signed up to pay a monthly direct debit to the Born Free Foundation.
    It shocked me to hear there are only 2000 lions remaining in Kenya.
    I’m going to check whether you have a page on Facebook and if there is, I’ll invite my FB friends around the world to join the group, most of whom I don’t even know, but who are all compassionate animal lovers actively campaigning for better animal welfare standards in a variety of capacities.
    THANK YOU for all your hard work in the conservation of wild animals, and I feel happy in the knowledge my donation every month will go towards helping you continue.

  19. Michael Says:

    Why watch Eastenders when you can see such an amazing programme about people with courage and compassion who gave their lives to make the world a better place!!!!!
    Truly inspiring and full of emotion.

  20. Anna Hughes Says:

    Funnily enough I was already on your website choosing an animal to adopt with my class at school earlier today! we can’t decide we want to help them all!!
    But what an inspiration tonight’s programme was! such heroes! I am so passionate about conservation and especially Africa and it’s wildlife. I have been out to Africa and worked with lions and cheetahs and it was so incredible absolutely life changing. They are magical and we have to do something to protect them. I will continue to support Born Free and other foundations/trusts to carry on the fantastic work they do! Keep up the good work guys!

  21. Susan Says:

    What a wonderful programme.Like many others started crying from the first opening shots. Have adored the films and books since first seeing Born Free as a child. Wonderful work the foundation is doing and hope the documentary contributes to raising awareness of yiour fine work!!

  22. Maren Says:

    I couldn’t watch tonight unfortunately but will be watching it on BBC iPlayer tomorrow night – and am off to tweet this blog now and share it on facebook. I can’t wait to watch the programme! Is there likely to be a DVD at some point? I’m a platinum member and when I need something I buy it from Born Free if it’s on the website – even wine and chocolates

  23. Steve Michael Says:

    Inspirational does not even describe this wonderful documentary. like most people i was crying my eyes out, especially about the Lions congregating at George’s grave.
    totally shocked to learn about only 2000 of these wonderful animals remain in Kenya!!
    Never been this emotionally invoved with a nature program since Heart of a Lioness, another inspirational docu!!
    Has prompted me to become a gold member, which i hope has happened to a lot of other people. Live quite near to Horsham so hope i’ll be able to volunteer soon.

  24. Risa Says:

    What an excellent programme! I think Virginia did a fine job of explaining the huge contribution that Joy, George, Bill and she made in helping thousands, if not millions, value the richness that wild animals make to the world. How tragic that Joy and George met their deaths in such violent ways. I am sure that this documentary will have enlightened many more viewers to what we will all lose if we stop caring about wildlife.

  25. Laura Savill Says:

    It is now Wednesday but I am still feeling very sad and emotional about the programme. Joy and George have always been my heroes since reading the book and seeing the film and the tender age of 10. Elsa left a deep mark on me. I went on the 25 Anniversary Trip with Virginia in 2009 and stayed in Meru – a remarkable experience, listening to Virginia tell her stories of George and Joy and of the making the film. She was very kind to all of the group when we visited Elsa’s grave – she understood how we were all feeling and shared our tears. One day I will revist the grave and also visit Kora and pay my respect at George’s grave – such a gentle man I wish there were more like him. However the message is out again and we never give up hope! All of us can make a difference that is why we support Born Free.

    I am going to upgrade my membership. One can get My Pride and Joy through Amazon Marketplace.

  26. frances Says:

    Thank you so much for opening my eyes! I started my own journey with animals when a beautiful feline soul walked into my life one very cold blustery day three years ago, the story of Elsa helped me to re-connect to that moment.
    I am starting a new career in Animal Communication, this documentary has opened my heart further to the understanding and acceptance of all animals which in turn will help me to connect to them individually and hopefully in time collectively.
    I have learned recently that some traditions/religions believe that animals lack a conciousness. I now truly believe with the help of the paws in my life as well as the story of Elsa and her family that animals really DO have conciousness, and most of all, have pure love and respect. What a beautiful realisation. We can learn so much more from animals than anyone could ever believe. Why destroy this?
    I look forward to helping Born Free hands on in the very near future, for now I will spread the word and the link to this wonderful website. Thank you for your awareness and the lives sadly spent in helping humankind be what we all should be, ‘kind’.
    I send prayers followed by hands to help.

  27. Sara Says:

    What a fantastic programme, I cried with my 6yr old son from start to finish.I could see him trying to understand the kindness and compassion Joy and George were doing during their lifetime. They were truely inspirational and the foundation is a fantastic legacy to them both. We as a family are now true supporters of the foundation.

  28. Cate Hamilton Says:

    Elsa’s story moved me deeply as a youngster when I first read Joy’s books and saw the film. She helped evoke in me a lifelong fascination with the natural world and it’s sheer beauty and awe.

    If the story of one lioness who indeed changed the world were not enough, the incredible work of the Adamsons and then that of Virginia McKenna, her husband and her son, following on with the Born Free Foundation made for powerfully moving, inspiring and motivating viewing.

    This site, which I have found today has had me captivated and stirred.

    I am sharing the site address and links to the BBC iplayer site with as many people as I can and I have also added them to my own website.

    I hope the program and all the information on this site leads to a groundswell of support for an exceptional organisation whose work is essential and an example and inspiration to all.


  29. Joy Says:

    [...] Born Free Blog » Blog Archive » NOT A MOMENT TO LOSE! Fantastic footage of George and Joy and I was really very interested in Kora and I am hoping to see the 3 graves of George, Boy and Sweet Supercub aswell. I would much prefer to go on holiday with Born Free Foundation if you are I am ashamed to say that I have never seen the film or learned about Born Free despite being an animal (and particularly cat) lover That is all going to change now that I have happened upon this documentary: I have adopted Sinbad and will . [...]

  30. Linda Jane Burr Says:

    I thought the programme was amazing and so emotional. I have the original paperback books of Born Free and have supported the Born Free for many years. I have actually been on a BFF holiday which was quite a long time ago now. We did however visit the grave of Elsa and I saw her rock and have pictures at home. So seeing this programme for me was very emotional and moving. It has also made me even more determined to support the work BFF carries out and just hope more people will see how wrong it is to keep animals in captivity. Well done everyone at Born Free and what an amazing team you are.

  31. Hayley Douglas Says:

    Just watched this on iplayer. Absolute tear jerker. I’ve been interested in natural history since i was small and reading books like Born Free when i was a child made me want to help wild animals. I’ve been very fortunate in that i’ve worked with our own wild animals in a wildlife hospital and the joy and satisfaction myself and others felt when we released the animals after they regained their health made the sad days fade away quickly. These stories inspired me as a child and reading these comments makes me glad that it is inspiring others. Keep up the good work

  32. Koen Van Sweeveldt-Belgium Says:

    George was by far his time ahead. We,humans,still know little about Lions. Deductions made from even the most scientific of studies represent good guesses, acknowledging how incomplete is our sense of worlds outside our own.Generalisations mask the uniqueness of the individual.Elsa was the start to proof the contrary. Putting our perceptions in a mist, we cease to let them be themselves and put them in our own superficial description. We must thank Virginia and Will, to carry on what George Adamson and Bill Travers started at Meru.
    To keep them born free.

  33. Jasmine Preston Says:

    ive always loved animals and new from the beginning i wanted to help them in my life. when i watched bbcs documentuary i was mesmerised and couldnt help feeling happy and sad. WELL DONE to everyone! the hard work that that everyone dedicated there lives to definatly has motivated others. at 15 many might think that this is what all teenage girls dream, but im set on doing my best to help save the animals and world around us.
    i hope many more people watch, and realise what amazing lengths the adamsons and the mckennas have gone to x

  34. Katrien Brokken Says:

    It was by accident that I was looking at BBC (I’m from Belgium and was ‘zapping’ to look for an interesting program). Unbelievable what I saw there. It was absolutely beautiful, I enjoyed the film very much and admire all the people who have such a big heart for animals. Every emotion has been shown in the film, happiness, love, sadness, loss, … Also the music was very nice. I had a wonderfull evening and support the work of Born Free fully. Please continue doing this.

  35. Cheryl McCullough Says:

    I find it abhorrent with regard to any cruelty to animals. I hope in the future to carry out some hands on practical help to born free, but in my small way I will sponsor for now. In the last two years I have become fascinated and interested by the conservation of animals, by the Born Free Foundation. The programme highlighted for me that there are souls who see no disparity between animal and human, only in our daily practices. Elsa and Christian appeared to be exceptional intelligent animals and proves the great capacity animals for devotion and love. I cried nearly all way through the programme. Amazing people, thank you to Virginia and Will. We have recently homed a dog, and I sing born free to her, with the risk of the neighbours thinking I have lost the plot, ha.ha. I also adopted Sinbad last year, and saw him being released on youtube, I think it was him. The way he clawed and caressed and floor, as he only had a cold concrete slab beneath him in the zoo. It was amazing and extraordinary uplifting and touching to watch, the freedom and utopia he must have felt.

    To George Adamson
    Drapes of scarlet heaven
    Africa subdued fever of content
    Admist the hills that George graced and spent
    Reliant on spirits golden nature Ensnare
    The lions coven and devotion lay bare
    Legacy of mornings winged vigour on Africa aspire
    Devotion in the compass of the lion’s dawn
    Recaptured, rejoiced wildlife reborn.
    I wish the Born Free team Fortitude and light on all your endeavours, shine on you.
    By Cheryl McCullough

  36. mary gaywood Says:

    i really enjoyed watching the programme and like so many others shed a few tears for joy and elsa. George was a remarkable person, the work he did for the lions was just so inspirational. I want to help educate the children over here in n.ireland that animals belong in the wild.
    Virginia is a total inspiration to me and many others.
    Well done Virginia, Will and everyone at Born Free


    Watched the Film, got the book and watched the program the other night. Cried then, nearly crying now. What wonderful people & wonderful animals. All animals are beautiful & none should be treated in a bad way at all. x Wish people would wake up to what is happening in this craZy world & help animals.. they have no voice…& have feelings x STarted wildlife watching & at the moment I am watching Birds of Prey…hope 2 go to Africa & see the kings & Queens of the jungle soon ;)

  38. Jackie Thun Says:

    I would have love to watch the programme, unfortunately we couldn’t see it here in Germany and the BBC player also doesnt work over here. So if there is any chance to get hold of it on a dvd, please let me know! I grew up with the movies and the serie “Born Free” while I was living with my parents in Somalia in the 80′s, so a lot of great memories and I think you are doing with your organisation a brilliant job!

  39. David Says:

    To the best of our knowledge a DVD will be coming out soon. We will post something on the website when it does, or alternatively you could sign up for our monthly email newsletter (

  40. Jane Orr Says:

    What a shocking statistic, less than 2000 lions left in Kenya. I have always loved the Adamson’s story about Elsa, and of course the film Born Free. I was at school with Will’s sister Louise, and met both Virginia and Bill briefly on speech days etc. My father was also called Bill, also a scot, also a wildlife lover. They were of similar build, and consequently were mistaken from behind, by both our mothers, on these school occasions. I remember,as a very young child, seeing Christian as a cub, in his enclosure at Harrods. He was being very playful with a maintenance man, who was trying to repair the inside of his cage – we were all very envious. As a family, we also have strong links to the Isle of Eigg, one of the small isles in the scottish hebrides, and Virginia very kindly wrote the forward to my mother’s book about the island. In the book my mother writes about her part in rehoming a tame otter, Tibby, to Gavin Maxwell, who wrote the book Ring of Bright Water, which of course Virginia and Bill also starred in. And as a family we were delighted to hear of the otter project on Skye. “Isn’t that how it ought to be, wild otters swimming in the burn.” And indeed all wild animals, living in the wild. Keep up the good work. And please send my love to Louise.