Born Free: the full story – by Joy Adamson

This anniversary edition book contains three books – Born Free, Living Free and Elsa’s Pride. It is the story of Joy and George Adamson and a lion named Elsa. George worked as a game warden in Kenya. Game wardens have a huge job of looking after large wilderness areas, they are not there to be guides, but to protect the animals and oversee the wild area they work in. They are heavily involved in preventing poaching, among other things and so spend a great deal of time walking in the bush. On one occasion when walking in the bush George was charged by a lioness, and had to kill it. Unfortunately it quickly became clear why it had charged – she was protecting 3 cubs. Having caused their predicament the Adamsons took in the lion cubs as they would have quickly died if left in the bush. Two of these lions were sent to a zoo, but the third was kept and raised by the Adamsons. Born Free is the story of Elsa growing up and then being taught to hunt and rereleased back into the wild. The second story (Living Free) is that of the amazing relationship that the Adamsons continued to have with Elsa after her release, and the third (Elsa’s Pride) is the story of her offspring.

This book is fascinating, giving many insights into Africa and the mind of lions. It also has beautiful photos.


The Spotted Sphinx – Joy Adamson

This is the story of Pippa the Cheetah. The story starts shortly after Elsa was released into the wild. It is in a similar vein to the above book but fascinating and very different problems arise. As with Elsa, George and Joy have to teach Pippa to be able to hunt and survive in the African bush. This book is fascinating and is well worth a read. There is also a book called Pippa’s challenge starts where this book ends.


The Queen of Shaba – Joy Adamson

As with the above two, this book tells the story of a fascinating cat in this case a Leopard. She is rescued as a small baby and is raised and then rereleased back into the bush. Due to Leopards being solitary this clearly was the hardest of the animals to release, but as with the other two is a fascinating read.



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