Tribute to George Adamson

It is the 28th Anniversary of the murder of George Adamson, a man who was an inspiration to my husband Bill Travers, and myself: to Bill until his life’s end and, to me, until the end of mine.  It is perhaps unusual for a husband and wife to share such admiration, loyalty and love for the same person, but this was the case for us.  From the moment we first met him in June 1964.

I am not suggesting that others didn’t share these feelings as the opposite is true.  He was loved and admired by thousands of people all over the world; people who met him, stayed in his simple little camp in Kora, Kenya, and people who had never met him but had heard of him or read his books.  Or, possibly, seen him in the documentary films Bill made including ‘The Lions are Free’, and ‘Christian, the Lion at World’s End’.

I think it would be true to say that the lions that George knew, cared for and often returned to the wild, were the real loves of his life.  His camps were  first in Meru, with three of the lions we managed to save, after filming ‘Born Free’, from being sent to zoos and safari parks, and then in Kora with many others who came from various backgrounds – including the famous Christian.  He was here for 20 years – sharing it for the last years of his life with his brother Terence, who died in 1986.

Who, one asks, would want to kill a man who was one of the most kind and loyal people one could ever meet?  Obviously it had to be someone that didn’t know him.  And so it was.  People who resented the presence of George and his lions in Kora, which they coveted for grazing their cattle and access to the river.

But, as often happens, a person can die but their life, beliefs and humanity towards all forms of life will never be destroyed.

I have several pictures of George in my home, but I don’t need to look at them to see him.  His philosophy, modesty, kindness and love for animals are present in my mind each day.  I know that without him the film ‘Born Free’ could never have been made in the same way.  In his truly humble and self-effacing way he will always be ‘Lord of the Lions’.


4 Responses to “Tribute to George Adamson”

  1. Paul Winteridge Says:

    I have read all of georges books and also have read yours. He truly was a great man as are you one hell of a lady. My wife and I are visiting Meru next year,especially to visit Elsa’s grave. I have followed Born Free for many years, and recently visited Kenya, to view the cheetahs which my wife adopted for me as a xmas present. Keep up the good work and hope to meet you in November (Beyond the Bars). My kindest regards Paul Winteridge.

  2. Janet Caton Says:

    I absolutely loved this movie as a child it was what truly turned me into the animal lover that I am today. As of right now we only have 2 cats but as soon as my husband retires fromtbeArmy I want at least 5 maybe a cpl more since my children are growen and our Grandchildren are getting their our oldest is in HS. And animals
    Have always been a very important part of my life I grew up w animals in my life. I also have raised Parrots Amazon Parrots for about 30 yrs and I Adore them! My last one died 2 hrs ago at 20yrs old I still mourn her as I have no idea what happened to her she was absolutely fine when I put her to bed and the next morn gone I was so broken hearted! I miss her talking and laughing and her singing and chasing the Cats on the floor to keep them on their feet…she was a riot! And very missed but I carry her ashes w us as we carry the ashes of our first 2 kitties. We miss them so much and unless you know the Urns have ashes they don’t look like Urns. But as for Christian he was stunning just a remarkable Lion so beautiful so Gorgeous SO MAJESTIC! When he was killed that broke my heart and even worse when his Son Xanderwaa murdered as well I was extremely devastated! Why would someone do that and destroy such an I o I. Family? There is no sense in this whatsoever. And these poaching should need to stop. I hope that Africa is able to stop this soon and I hope that ALL COUNTRIES AND NATIONS SUPPORT THIS AND HELP WITH THIS-SERIOUS CAUSE. I WISH I COULD DO SO MUCH TO HELP THESE BEAUTIFUL CATS AND THE ELEPHANTS AS WELL THEY TO NEED THE CARE AND PROTECTION OF ALL OF THE COU NTRIES AND NATIONS TO STOP POACHING THEM. THEY ARE GORGEOUS AND MAJESTIC ANIMALS VERY MAJESTIC ANIMALS!! I have loved ELEPHANTS FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER since I was a child they are my FAVORITE ALONG W CATS and j want to see all these animals be around to be able to enjoy and learn from for our Grandchildren. And I want to see all animals be around for many generations the way it’s supposed to be!! Lets see this happen.

  3. Cindy Wines Says:

    I loved the movie. I will be 65 in October so this was one of my favorite movies in growing up. Thank you for all you have done for lions, elephants and other wildlife. I wish we could do more to save the big cats and elephants of Africa.

  4. Mary Shabbott Says:

    Beautifully written tribute. There will never be another George Adamson. His love, gentleness and compassion towards lions and all wildlife left their mark with me, as I am sure they did with many others. He was the Father of Lions and loved dearly by them. This world needs so many more people like him.