Spirit of elsa

28 January 2022


Today is a very special day for our charity as we remember Elsa the lioness. 

A black and white photo of a lady reclining next to a young lion from the film Born Free

Elsa the lioness was born on 28th January 1956, and was successfully returned to the wild in 1958 by Joy and George Adamson after she was orphaned as a young cub. Elsa’s true story was featured in the classic film Born Free, starring our remarkable co-founders Virginia McKenna OBE and Bill Travers MBE, and we feature her on our charity logo.

This is a day of celebration as we remember Elsa the lioness, whose journey to freedom inspires everything we do as a charity – every single animal counts. In Meru National Park in Kenya, where Elsa lived wild and free, we’ve named a family of lions in her honour. Elsa’s Pride is one of Meru’s oldest lion families and Born Free works hard with Kenya Wildlife Service to keep them safe.

Excitingly, two Elsa’s Pride females, the Mururi Girls, recently gave birth to twins. Kiara and Kamili, and Cheri and Queen, are grandcubs to Makena. Which makes them the first third generation members of the pride since we began monitoring them in 2016. But recently, a vet had to rescue another cub from the pride. ResQ was caught in a wire snare, set illegally to catch ‘bushmeat’. Happily, the wound healed, and we continue to work around the clock to remove these deadly traps.

“Starting with Meru, we must redouble our efforts to save and protect the lions of Africa, now more than ever,” said Born Free’s Executive President Will Travers OBE. “A world without them is, quite simply, unimaginable.”

Support Born Free’s Year of the Lion and adopt Elsa’s Pride today.