14 - Born Free
Free is the 1960
bestselling story of Joy Adamson's love for an orphaned lion cub named Elsa –
and how that love is returned unexpectedly. Joy and husband George, a Kenyan
game warden, adopt three orphaned lion kittens, bottle-feed them and raise them
to young lionhood. All the time, they know that it is temporary – since grown
lions are too dangerous to be household pets. The two largest are sent off to
Rotterdam Zoo in Holland. However, little Elsa, the runt of the litter, is
allowed to remain with Joy and a deep bond is formed. However, when the
enthusiastic prankster Elsa is blamed for stampeding a herd of elephants
through a village, George's boss gives Joy three months to either rehabilitate
Elsa to the wild, or send her to a zoo. The book describes in loving detail how
Joy spends those months, teaching Elsa to hunt by dragging carcasses behind a
Land Rover, then introducing her to a pride of lions in a distant game reserve.
At last, Joy succeeds, and with mixed feelings and a breaking heart, she
returns Elsa to the wild. A year later, the Adamsons return for a visit, hoping
to find Elsa – and are stunned by their reception. An inspiring story of tough
love and undying friendship.
~ Rob Kerby
Purchase "Born Free" here.