January 24, 2014

On this day January 24th

DARC Ethiophile Chronicles

On this day

24 January, 1961 Elsa, the lioness made famous by Joy Adamson's book Born Free, dies in Kenya. Elsa the lioness was one of three orphaned lions whose mother was killed in self-defense by George Adamson. Adamson was a wildlife conservationist based in Kenya. He was forced to kill Elsa’s mother in self-defense when she tried to attack him. It was only after he had shot her that he realized the lion was protecting her three cubs. Adams took the cub’s home and together with his wife, Joy, raised them. The two older cubs were later sent to a Rotterdam zoo, while Elsa remained with the Adamson’s. Joy and Elsa developed a close bond as she slowly trained the lioness to survive in the wild. Eventually, the time came and Elsa was released into the wild. The Adamsons returned to England and upon their return a year later, found that Elsa is the mother of three cubs and that she still remembered them. Elsa died from Babesia felis, a tick-borne blood disease, on 24 January 1961. Joy documented her experience with Elsa in a book titled Born Free, published in 1996. The book was later made into a Hollywood film of the same title.

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