In honour of what would have been the 100th Birthday year of Bill Travers MBE, we are celebrating our fearless Co-Founder’s legacy by designating 2022 our 'Year of the Lion'. 

In honour of our year of action for lions, join us for a UK-wide exhibition - Born Free Forever - featuring stunning life-size, bronze lion sculptures to raise awareness and vital funds for lions through the Forever Lions Fund, set up in Bill's memory.

Our Lion pride can currently be found at Sea Walls, Circular Rd, Clifton, Bristol, BS9 1PG (what3words: jabs.goes.tinsel) and will remain in residence until the end of September, before moving to Edinburgh. Please come and visit, marvel at the stunning sculptures and learn the true stories behind the Born Free lion pride.

We are proud to have joined forces with the world’s favourite monumental artists Gillie and Marc to present this landmark installation to raise awareness and vital funds for our lion conservation work. 

Gillie and Marc have been called “the most successful and prolific creators of public art in New York’s History” by the New York Times, and have created some of the world’s most innovative public sculptures - we are so grateful for their collaboration on this very special pride!

Born Free Forever  is the largest lion sculpture of its type in the UK, and will be taking up residence at locations up and down the country as a celebration of Elsa the lioness – our charity’s original inspiration and a potent symbol of hope. The exhibition's stunning bronze centrepiece features Elsa standing on top of a vintage 4x4 surrounded by cubs, capturing the essence of the iconic classic 1966 film Born Free, starring our charity’s Co-Founders Virginia McKenna OBE and Bill Travers MBE, and telling Elsa’s true story.

The moving installation features lions and cubs cast in bronze. Each lion represents an issue faced by these iconic creatures and has a special affinity with Born Free. From Christian, the cub purchased from Harrods and successfully returned to the wild, to Makena, the Kenyan lioness living in the Born Free-protected Meru National Park, now with cubs of her own.

Montage of four images: Clockwise from top left. Elsa the lioness on top of a Land Rover; Virginia McKenna standing next to a bronze statue, holding it's paw; A bronze lion statue in a green park; Virginia McKenna and a young lioness on top of a Land Rover; a bronze lion statue in a city setting.


Your donation will directly help wild and captive lions by providing safe and appropriate homes, promoting co-existence, increasing education, and supporting our efforts to ban trophies and other forms of exploitation. Where donations exceed the target, or after the fund has closed, they will be used to support our vital work to help wildlife worldwide. 


Back in the 1960s, when Born Free was filmed, there were an estimated 200,000 lions in the wild, but today as few as 20,000 remain, a terrifying 90% decline in just 55 years. Africa without lions? Extinction a real possibility? We can’t let this happen! In 2022, Born Free's 'Year of the Lion', we are more determined than ever to ensure a longterm future for lions, and this unique exhibition of stunning artwork will play a vital role. 

It takes strength and courage to fight extinction and we need YOUR help. You are invited to join us... take your photo with the bronze artworks, share your picture on social media with the hashtag #LoveTheLast, #BornFreeForever or #ForeverLions and help to raise awareness and jump-start efforts to support lion conservation. QR codes by the lions will transport visitors to a dedicated area of the Born Free website to find out more about their unique story, and every single pound we raise will fund our battle to keep these ultimate predators safe in the wild and fight their captive exploitation, through the Forever Lions Fund, set up in memory of our fearless Co-Founder, Bill Travers MBE.

There is much we have to do to protect wild lions, to resolve conflict with local people and to stop the slaughter of trophy hunting. But, with your help, Born Free is on the frontline, taking action to save the African lion. So jump on board, and come on safari to London today! 


One of the simplest, most effective ways you can support lions is by texting a donation to Born Free.

Simply text 70450 with the word FOREVER to donate £5*, COURAGE to donate £10* or FEARLESS to donate £20* today.

Every single pound will help keep these majestic beasts safe in the wild and fight their captive exploitation

*Texts will cost the donation amount plus one standard network rate message, and you’ll be opting into hearing more from us. If you would like to donate but don’t wish to hear more from us, please text FOREVERNOINFO, COURAGENOINFO or FEARLESSNOINFO instead.


Throughout the year, we'll be holding a series of special events, competitions and activities to raise funds and awareness of our 'Year of the Lion'. 

We need your support! Please check our website and social media regularly to find out about ways YOU can get involved.


“The bronze cubs symbolise the future generations of lions that can be created with hard work, dedication and a lot of love. The lion is a big part of our national identity and personifies the qualities of what it is to be British: strength, courage and pride. If wild lions were to go extinct, we would lose a part of ourselves.”
Artists, Gillie and Marc


“We are all so inspired by Gillie and Marc’s creative vision and passion for lions. Their glorious work is a show-stopper, a genuine world-first and we’d love everyone who loves lions to get involved. A global force for wildlife, Born Free is all about freedom. Of all species, wild lions and all they represent are the living symbols of our charity. Through these extraordinary sculptures, the Spirit of Elsa lives on and burns brighter than ever.”
Born Free's Executive President Will Travers OBE



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