Joy Adamson, the author of "Born Free," was
A concert pianist.
A conservationist, artist AND journalist.
With her 3rd husband, wildlife warden George Adamson, Joy:
Raised Elsa and her littermates after their mother was killed.
Established a game refuge in Kenya.
Raised Elsa and eventually released her back into the wild. (The other 2 cubs were sent to the Rotterdam Zoo.)
Collaborated on a number of books.
Worked with cheetahs and leopards as well as with lions.
The book "Born Free" was:
Drawn heavily from George’s journals. (He did not receive any income from the books until many years later.)
A loving collaborative effort between the couple.
An idealized portrait of their work with wildlife in Kenya.
Based entirely on Joy Adamson’s notes and observations.
Partly fictionalized. There were really several “Elsas.”
Joy wrote a number of books about Elsa and her cubs. They include:
"Elsa and Her Cubs" and "The Searching Spirit."
"Living Free," "Forever Free" and "Pippa’s Challenge."
"Living Free," "Forever Free" and "Queen of Shaba."
"Living Free" and "Forever Free."
"Forever Free" and "My Pride and Joy."
The movie “Born Free” spawned some sequels. They are:
“Pride” and “Into the Lion’s Den.”
“Living Free” and “The Last Lions.”
“To Walk With Lions” and “Christian the Lion.”
“Living Free” and “Secondhand Lions.”
“Living Free” and “The Lions Are Free.”
For Joy and George, Elsa was:
Simply an experiment in wildlife rehabilitation.
A one-off or happenstance lion.
In many ways, the child they’d never had. After Elsa died, they more or less went their separate ways but never divorced.
The first of many lions they would work with during their marriage.
The catalyst for their becoming conservationists and working to restore the wildlife in the Kora Reserve in Kenya.
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