In Conversation about Compassionate Conservation: An Evening with Born Free's Will Travers OBE
Will Travers OBE is President of the internationally renowned NGO, the Born Free Foundation, which is responsible for stopping wild animal suffering and protecting threatened species worldwide.
Will is joining Sage Gateshead in June to discuss Compassionate Conservation and to consider some of the most important issues facing wild animals today.
In 1966, Will’s parents, 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 did everything they could to prevent this, but Pole Pole was sent to London. In 1982, Virginia and Bill went to visit Pole Pole at the zoo. Pole Pole, in clear distress, remembered Virginia and Bill and stretched out her trunk to reach them.
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.