Hello! Just to let you know that we use non-essential cookies (including analytics and third party cookies) to help us understand if our website is working well and to learn what content is most useful to visitors. We also use some cookies which are essential for our platform to work and help us to provide you with the best experience possible. You can accept or reject our non-essential cookies and change your mind at any time. To learn more, please read our cookies policy.

Update cookie preferences
Skip to content

Born Free Foundation

In 1966, Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers starred in the classic wildlife film Born Free. The film told the true story of conservationists Joy and George Adamson who rescued a lioness cub called Elsa and successfully returned her to the wild. Virginia and Bill went on to make a number of wildlife films together, including in 1969 An Elephant Called Slowly with an elephant calf called Pole Pole. When filming was over, Pole Pole was gifted to London Zoo by the Kenyan government. Virginia and Bill launched a campaign to give Pole Pole a better life but in 1983, aged 16, Pole Pole died. Determined that her death would not be in vain, in 1984, Virginia, Bill and their eldest son Will launched Zoo Check – the charity that has evolved into Born Free.

www.bornfree.org.uk Fundraise for us

01403 240170

Registered charity no. 1070906

Member since June 2019

Latest News

Book your tickets for our online lion event – Thurs 24 March 2022

Book your tickets for our online lion event – Thurs 24 March 2022

You are invited to be part of something truly special. Join us for this historic online occasion, as we bring you and your loved ones a night to remember, direct to your home!

Raise a roar and enjoy a unique evening celebrating lions, hosted by our passionate and visionary Executive President Will Travers OBE. An internationally renowned wildlife expert, Will has dedicated his life to wild animals in need. Discover how he fell in love with lions in Kenya as a child, watching his parents Virginia McKenna OBE and Bill Travers MBE on the film set of classic movie, Born Free.

Then sit back and enjoy stories, poetry, film and music – our event is perfect for everyone who loves lions!

  • 38 grrrreat years of action for lions thanks to YOU

  • New Lions of Lockdown film – blissful in South Africa

  • Honour George Adamson the lion man and Bill Travers the lionheart

  • Our beloved Virginia shares precious memories

  • Plus, Christian the lion’s heart-stopping reunion

  • Good news as we seek an end to ‘sport’ hunting

  • Exclusive auction with once in a lifetime prizes

Tickets for the event are £22. Reserve your place NOW and invite your family, friends, colleagues and social media followers – let’s raise a roar for lions!

From your lion-loving friends at Born Free.

Link: https://givergy.uk/Yearofthelion/?controller=home&utm_campaign=795164_38th%20anniversary%20event%20-%20second%20email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=The%20Born%20Free%20Foundation&dm_i=6Q0U,H1JW,2E6PJ9,22PG0,1

Join Born Free and Sally Gunnel in our Mount Kenya charity challenge

Join Born Free and Sally Gunnel in our Mount Kenya charity challenge

We’re delighted to announce that Olympic gold medallist and broadcaster, Sally Gunnell OBE, is our new Patron. Now you can join Sally and take a Born Free charity challenge. The perfect way to get fit AND raise funds during our 'Year of the Lion' – you’ll do good and feel good too!

“I’m over the moon to become a Patron,” said Sally, “It’s Born Free’s Year of the Lion and I really wanted to throw myself in. I’ve always had a passion for wildlife, especially lions – maybe because I’m a Leo!”

Sally has supported Born Free since 1992, the year she won Olympic gold in Barcelona for the 400m hurdles. Now, to help raise funds, Sally is leading our Climb for Conservation Mount Kenya expedition in October 2022 and would love you to join her. “I’ve seen how magnificent lions are in the wild and when you think how few there are left, it’s scary – I really wanted to do something.”

If climbing Africa’s second highest peak isn’t your thing, how about joining our Run Wild London Marathon team on 2nd October 2022? Register your interest now and you could take part in the world’s most famous road race.

Or how about raising funds for tigers with the World Tiger Day Virtual 5k Race – run or walk 5k between 25th-31st July 2022 to claim your medal!


We hope you’re inspired to get active with Born Free! The perfect way to boost your energy AND raise funds for wild animal care and conservation.

From your friends at Born Free. Photo ©  Joe Pepler/PinPep