Here’s the story as it was released by Associated press on August 21, 1989. George Adamson was a true pioneer in African Wildlife Preservation and conservation efforts. He would be heart broken to see what we have done to African Wildlife in a quarter century since he passed away. I’m sure he would have some choice words for the corrupt Government Authorities, Trophy Hunters and especially the Canned Hunting industries.
Today we honor this great man
George Adamson’s Spirit lives on in his wildlife preservation trust : http://www.georgeadamson.org/
George Adamson, 83, Husband of ‘Born Free’ Author, Slain by Bandits : ‘Brave Man’ Died Trying to Help Aides Under Attack
NAIROBI, Kenya — Conservationist George Adamson was slain by bandits near the wildlife reserve where he and his late wife, “Born Free” author Joy Adamson, taught lions raised in captivity to live in the wild.
Adamson, 83, was killed Sunday as he drove head on into a group of Somali bandits who had earlier robbed and beaten his assistants. Shifta, or roaming bands of Somali tribesmen, are believed responsible for most of the animal poaching in Kenya.
Adamson and his wife together helped popularize wildlife conservation. Joy Adamson was killed in 1980 by a young servant in a wage dispute.
After hearing gunfire, Adamson and three workers drove about a mile from the Kora National Reserve to help the assistants, Director of Wildlife Richard Leakey said today at a news conference.
‘A Brave Man’
Arriving at the scene of the attack, Adamson ignored pleas from other occupants in his car to stop, put his foot on the gas and drove straight at the bandits, Leakey said. Adamson and two assistants in his car died in the barrage.
“George was a brave man,” Leakey said at a news conference.
Leakey said the government had been increasingly concerned about attacks by shifta since a major anti-poaching effort pushed most of them out of Kenya’s game reserves.
Adamson refused any additional protection, however, and did not want to be removed from Kora, where he felt well protected by his 16 lions and more than half a dozen assistants, Leakey said.
Adamson was game warden of Kenya’s northern Frontier District in 1944 when he married Joy, an Austrian-born artist whose books later thrust him into fame.
After living apart from her husband, Joy moved to the game reserve in the late 1960s to work with leopards.
In 1956, her husband brought home three motherless lion cubs. One, which they named Elsa, became the central character of “Born Free.” Adamson served as technical director for a film adaptation.
That book and its sequels, “Living Free” and “Forever Free,” described the Adamsons’ unique and controversial practice of taking lions born in captivity and teaching them to survive on their own before freeing them.
The government stopped the practice in 1980 after a mauling incident in Kora.
Adamson, whose shoulder-length hair and goatee gave him a lion-like appearance, kept a modest camp in Kora and lived off a pension, interest from a trust fund set up by his wife and donations from supporters.
Adamson was born in India in 1906 and first visited Kenya in 1924. He later moved to the East African nation and joined its game department in 1938. He retired as game warden in 1963.
He had no children.