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Joy Adamson (1910 - 1980)

   Joy Adamson
Joy Adamson
Joy Adamson will be remembered as one of the greatest naturalists and conservationists in history. Perhaps her greatest gift to wildlife, and certainly her legacy to all wild animals, is the Elsa Wild Animal Appeal which she founded to work for the conservation of wildlife throughout the world. Few people in Canada realize how much she did for Canadian wildlife. It was entirely due to her personal enthusiasm, interest, and inspiration that the Elsa Wild Animal Appeal of Canada was established in 1972 to work for the conservation of wildlife and the preservation of endangered species in Canada.

Joy's name is, of course, synonymous with that of Elsa the lioness. The story of Elsa and her cubs is familiar to millions of people around the globe.
Joy Adamson with Elsa the lioness   
Joy Adamson with Elsa the lioness
BORN FREE alone has been translated into over thirty languages, and the movie shown all over the world.

Less familiar, perhaps, but just as remarkable is the story of Pippa the cheetah (THE SPOTTED SPHINX, PIPPA'S CHALLENGE). Joy's introduction to Pippa took place in the elegant tea room of the New Stanley Hotel in Nairobi. Pippa was sitting at a table, in a very civilized fashion, sipping a soft drink through a straw - obviously a very pampered pet cub. Just eighteen months later, Pippa was living in the wild where she'd been born, had learned to hunt for herself, had mated with a wild cheetah, and was raising her first litter of cubs!

   Joy Adamson with Pippa the cheetah
Joy Adamson with Pippa the cheetah
Joy's unique skill in handling and caring for wild animals often turned her home into an animal orphanage or veterinary hospital. She cared for everything from baby weaver birds to baby elephants. She nursed back to health all manner of creatures - an owl with a broken wing, a jackal with a broken foreleg, an injured monkey. The conservation of all wildlife everywhere became for her a passionate crusade, and she worked with unceasing energy and dedication for that cause.

Joy's interest in wild animals, however, extended far beyond those she had known personally, and her efforts for wildlife extended beyond the borders of her adopted country, Kenya. She travelled to many parts of the globe on extensive and exhausting lecture tours to speak on behalf of wildlife conservation. In 1974, for example, she came to Canada (at her own expense) to promote the work of Elsa Canada and to raise funds for our projects. Wherever Joy spoke, she inspired people to work for conservation in their own countries. Even government officials were inspired to take positive action! Joy Adamson was a unique and dynamic human being, a woman of enormous intellect, personal charm, rare and remarkable talents.


the elsa wild animal appeal of canada
box 45051, 2482 yonge street, toronto, ontario, canada   m4p 3e3
phone (416) 489-8862 - email info@elsacanada.com
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