Elsa: The Lioness That Changed The World

Published on 8th February 2016 by

Elsa The Lioness made history in the 1960’s when she became the first ever captive lion to be released back into the wild, she had been raised by game warden George Adamson and his wife Joy Adamson in Kenya. Elsa had gone to live with the Adamson’s along with her two sisters after they had become orphaned. Her two sisters ended up in Amsterdam Zoo whilst Elsa remained with the Adamson’s so they could attempt to teach her how to fend for herself.

It was Joy Adamson that Elsa trusted the most and it was her 1960 book Born Free and the resulting movie adaption of the same name which was to give Elsa worldwide fame. After successfully reintegrating Elsa into the wild the Adamsons would occasionally visit her in the wild, when she was three years old she would show them three cubs of her own. Her life was tragically cut short a couple of years later when she passed of a disease similar to malaria.

Elsa: The Lioness That Changed The World is a 2011 documentary which looks back at the life of both Elsa and the Adamson’s, it includes some incredible previously unseen footage of Elsa with both Joy and George. If you enjoy this film then please consider making a donation to the Born Free Foundation, a charity which was founded by the actors in the Born Free movie in conjuction with Joy and George Adamson. The foundation does some great conservation work.


Elsa the Lion found fame after the publication of Joy Adamson’s book Born Free, which has been reprinted several times and still sells very well. It is available to purchase in paperback, hardback, and kindle editions.

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