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Joy Adamson

Naturalist and Author

In the 60's a film was to have a great impact on my drawing and painting of wildlife, the film was Born Free the true story about a lioness called Elsa, raised from a cub by George and Joy Adamson. It was with great pleasure in the late 80's I met the two stars of the film, Virgina Mckenna and Bill Travers, while being involved with the Born Free Foundation a limited edition print of lions, Virgina Mckenna kindly counter signed the edition.


Joy Adamson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joy Adamson (January 20, 1910 - January 3, 1980) was a naturalist, best known as the author and main character of the book, Born Free, which described her experiences in saving the life of a lioness, Elsa.

She was born Joy Friedericke Victoria Gessner in Opava (Troppau), Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic). With her third husband, George Adamson, she made her home in Kenya on the shores of Lake Naivasha. She studied and painted animals in the wild, and became famous as a result of the publication of Born Free in 1960. Several sequels were also published, and a film was made in which Adamson was portrayed by Virginia McKenna.

In addition to her books about lions, Adamson also wrote two books about Pippa, a cheetah she took on in 1964, first meeting her in an elegant tea room in Nairobi.

Adamson later separated from her husband. On January 3, 1980, in a remote part of Kenya, her corpse was discovered by her assistant, Peter Morson (sometimes reported as Pieter Mawson). He assumed that Joy had been killed by a lion, and this was what was initially reported by the media. Further police investigation found that Joy's wounds were too sharp and bloodless to have been caused by an animal, and concluded that Joy was murdered with a sharp instrument. The authorities questioned her former employees, as Adamson had a reputation for firing many of them. Paul Wakwaro Ekai, Adamson's 23-year-old former employee, was charged with the crime.

George Adamson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Adamson (1906- 20 August 1989), the "Lion Man" of Africa was one of the founding fathers of wildlife conservation. He and his wife Joy Adamson are best known through the book and film "Born Free", which depicts the true story of Elsa, an orphaned lioness cub they raised and later released into the wild.

George Adamson was born in Dholpur, India in 1906 and first visited Kenya in 1924. After a series of adventures, which included time as a gold prospector, he joined Kenya's game department in 1938 and, six years later, married Joy. It was in 1956 that he shot the lioness whose cub was to become world-famous as Elsa.

George Adamson retired as a game warden in 1963 and devoted himself to his many lions. In 1970, he moved to the Kora National Reserve in northern Kenya, working with Tony Fitzjohn as his right hand man, to continue the rehabilitation of captive or orphaned big cats for eventual reintroduction into the wild.

George and Joy separated in 1970, but continued to spend Christmases togetherIn 1989 at the age of 83, Adamson was shot to death at Kora by Somali poachers.

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