Tribute to Elsa the Lioness
Elsa grew in many people a 'seed' of love and understanding
.... A strong desire to help and to speak in behalf of the animals,
for they cannot speak for themselves

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Elsa the Lioness

"The Adamsons gave us truths about the species that cannot be found in a biologist's notebook."
....Quote by George Schaler from the introducton of the 1987 version of the book Born Free

Elsa and the other Adamson lions had shown the world that if given love and respect, a lion is capable of a far wider range of behavior than had previously been believed. She and the other lions were NOT programmed eating 'machines' with only conditioned reflexes but instead an 'individual' capable of a continuing trust, affection and friendship with other animals and humans. The LOVE combined with respect that George and Joy had shown these animals had brought out qualities that most persons would have said did not exit. But Elsa and the other lions proved that these admirable qualities did exist and that lions have feelings and are individuals.

Quote by William Percy from the preface of the best selling book Born Free....
An animal as dangerous an any in the world. That such a creature when in a highly excited state, with her blood up after a long struggle with a bull buffalo, and while still on top of it, should have permitted a man to walk up to her.... and then lend her assistance in pulling the carcass out of a river, is an astonishing tribute no less to her intelligence than to her self-control.

If the most fanciful author of animal stories....had drawn the imaginary character of a lioness acting in that manner it would assuredly have been ridiculed as altogether "out of character" and too improbable to carry conviction--and yet Elsa's record shows that it is not more than sober fact....

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Elsa immediately after making her own kill allows
a human to not only approach but to handle her kill! astonishing tribute no less to her intelligence than to her self-control.

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TRUST and Friendship .... Elsa and George Resting Together

Elsa and the Adamsons showed us what man could do with Love
even when dealing with what some would call, ferocious wild animals.
And the lions showed us they are not just eating machines as portrayed
in most tv nature programs, but individuals with a wide range of qualities,
capable of varied emotions, deep trust and lasting friendship.

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Elsa the Lioness

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Elsa letting Joy use her for a pillow!

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Joy holding some meat while Elsa chews on it.

Elsa, Always Affectionate and Loving....
Pictured here with Joy.

Elsa's Final Resting Place

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Elsa's grave in Meru
Elsa died with her head in George's lap.  He wrote of his great sadness and pain in her passing.
After George buried her, George and his scouts fired 20 volleys of shots over her grave
in the hopes that her mate may have heard them and paused.
Elsa died from a tick born disease called Babesia.  She was only 5 years old.
Photo taken November 2004

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Elsa's headstone
Born January 1956,  Passed away in 1961
Photo taken November 2004

Elsa is buried in Meru National Park in Kenya, East Africa.
Many visitors to Meru visit her grave to pay their respects.

MORE Photos of Elsa's Grave
in Meru National Park....PHOTOS

Elsamere Estates.... Photos of House and Grounds
(Former home of Joy Adamson located on the banks of LakeNaivasha.)

Tribute Room and House Interior
.... 2010

Elsamere .... 2012

The photos shown above on this page of Elsa's final resting place were provided by Susan L. Wood.
She had this to write about her visit to pay her respects to Elsa:

.... a visit is a pilgrimage of sorts, since Meru is where the famed lioness "Elsa" was released back into the wild after being raised by George and Joy Adamson. Visiting Elsa's grave, especially on this trip, was extremely important to me.

.... How does one begin to describe Elsa's Kopje? "Heaven on earth" is appropriate. ....
It is built on top of Mughwango Hill, which was George Adamson's first camp, then known as Elsa's Camp. Even driving up to the accommodation, you cannot see it until you pull up into the parking area. The entrance is dotted with wonderful pictures of George and Joy Adamson and, of course, Elsa. ....

.... My visit to Meru would not have been complete without a visit to Elsa's grave, which is appropriately alongside a river at the edge of the park boundary. Although she does not know it, Elsa paid a huge role in my life. From the moment I saw "Born Free" when I was four years old, I was obsessed with Africa.

I asked Michael(husband) and our guide to leave me alone for a while and they obliged. I sat on Elsa's grave and talked with her and told her of my journey thus far. I told her about all the lions I saw in the Serengeti and that perhaps one was related to her. (When Elsa died she had three cubs, which were later taken to the Serengeti for release by George and Joy Adamson.)

I told Elsa how important she was to me and how it was my mother who introduced me to her - "Born Free" was the first movie my Mom ever took me to see.

I cried my heart out at Elsa'a grave, but, you know what? It felt good. I just wish my Mom(who had passed away) had been there with me to pay homage to Elsa. My Mom would have known that my tears were those of joy not sadness.

All in all a very emotional and sometimes bittersweet trip, but one that I would do all over again.

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Elsa the Lioness

MORE Photos of Elsa's Grave
2021 Photos of
Elsa's final resting place .... 2021_Photos
2010 Photos of Elsa's final resting place.... 2010 Photos
More Photos of Elsa's final resting place....more photos

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Animals canNOT speak for or help themselves,
they need YOU to be their voice and to support those
organizations which speak in their behalf.
In Nairobi Park humans have visciously murdered most of the Lions in the
park, sometimes cutting off body parts and mutilating their bodies.   Because of
human encroachment and humans cutting off the route out of the park which prey

animals need to graze and survive,  the prey animals were starving to death and when
very few prey animals remained, some starving Lions attempted to survive by feeding
on livestock belonging to humans. This gave humans an excuse to murder any and
all lions. At one point there were only about seven lions left in the park
and the remaining lions are in grave danger of being murdered. A fence around
the park was considered.  Whenever animals and humans have conflict,
humans are ALWAYS the victor and often the animals suffer and die.
Someone must speak for the animals who are voiceless ....

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Lion starving to death in Nairobi Park

Animal welfare groups work hard to help animals
but they rely on our financial support.  They need those of us
that care about the suffering of animals to
HELP them to HELP the animals.
In Memory of Elsa and all the wonderful lions, you can
SAVE a Lion's Life .... SUPPORT organizations
that help animals (See
Links page.)
AND SUPPORT legislation that helps big cats!
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Support Animal Organizations
so that they may Help Save the Animals!

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Tribute to Elsa the Lioness
2011 Documentary.... Available on DCD and BLURAY

Elsa's Legacy - The Born Free Story
Details on where to purchase DVD or BLURAY

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READ ABOUT ELSA in the best selling book,'BORN FREE'. - - The story of Elsa the Lioness will touch your heart.

This is a remarkable TRUE story of a lion cub (George Adamson's first lion) and the Love and Trust she shared with her human family. She is returned to the wild and yet continues to cross the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the human world and the radically different world of life in the wild.  Books

It clearly shows that even wild animals are individuals capable of great trust, understanding and affection.
Many photos.  Video with same title. This true account of Elsa's life and George and Joy Adamson's determination to return her to the wild with her own kind.

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George Adamson wrote in his book:

"Who will now care for the animals, for they cannot look after themselves? Are there young men and women who are willing to take on this charge? Who will raise their voices, when mine is carried away on the wind, to plead their case?"

George Adamson

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Do you have photos pertaining to Elsa's Resting Place in Meru or photos of Joy or George Adamson? - - If so please SHARE with others, by offering to donate the 'viewing' of item(s) on this non-profit site.
NOTE: This is a NOT-for-profit site dedicated to conservationists George and Joy Adamson. If you have any information about items pertaining to the Adamsons or if you have photos of or letters from George or Joy that you would like to share so that others may also have the opportunity of enjoying and learning more about the Adamsons, please scan the item(s) and send by

MORE Photos of Elsa's Grave
in Meru National Park...

George's Final Resting Place In Kora - Photos

Pippa the Cheetah's grave - Photos

Elsa's Cubs....Jespah, Gopa and Little Elsa
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Virginia McKenna(Played the part of Joy Adamson in the movie Born Free)
with one of her sons visiting the grave of Elsa the Lioness.
Elsa is buried in Meru National Park in Kenya, East Africa.
Many visitors to Meru visit her grave to pay their respects.
Photo taken by MDaines in March 2005, Courtesy of Virginia McKenna.

In an article in the Summer of 2005 Virginia McKenna wrote, "Elsa's grave, in Meru, where some of Joy's ashes are also buried, is also miles from anywhere in the hear of the bush.  At the campsite where she had become that famous lioness of two worlds. ....  
In both resting places(George & Elsa) there is a sense of peace.


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