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 Joy Adamson

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Joy Adamson

Birth
Opava, Okres Opava, Moravskoslezský (Moravian-Silesian), Czech Republic
Death 3 Jan 1980 (aged 69)
Isiolo, Kenya
Burial Meru National Park, Meru, Kenya
Memorial ID 16473602 View Source
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Scientist, Author and conservationist. Born to Victor and Traute Gessner in Troppau, Silesia, Austria-Hungary now known as Opava, Czech Republic, the second of three daughters.She studied piano and the arts, among other subjects, in school. Joy came to Kenya, then a British colony, at 27. She married her third husband, game warden George Adamson, in 1944. In 1956, George shot a lion in self-defense. He discovered that she had only attacked to protect her three cubs. Rescuing the young animals, George brought them home to Joy. The two larger cubs, Lustica and the Big One, were sent to a zoo in Rotterdam. But they kept one that they named Elsa. Joy developed a close bond with the animal, which she raised. Joy would put pen to paper and author Born Free in 1960, she chronicled her relationship with Elsa and her efforts to return her to the wild. book became an international best seller, and its success put the spotlight on the need to preserve African wildlife. She wrote two more books about Elsa and her cubs, Living Free in 1961 and Forever Free in 1962. In addition to sharing her experiences and observations through writing, she established her own conservation group, the Elsa Wild Animal Appeal. In 1966, the film adaptation of Born Free became an international smash. The film starred Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna as George and Joy Adamson. By the time of the film's release, Joy had turned much of her attention to a young cheetah, which she named Pippa. Helping Pippa learn to be a wild cheetah became the subject of the 1969 book The Spotted Sphinx. In January, 1980, Joy's body was discovered by her assistant, Peter Morson (whose name has sometimes been reported as Pieter Mawson). He mistakenly assumed she had been killed by a lion, and this was what was initially reported by the media. The police investigation found Joy's wounds were too sharp and bloodless to have been caused by an animal, and concluded she had been murdered. In addition to Joy's books about big cats, a book of her artwork was published, as was an autobiography entitled The Searching Spirit. She was 69 years old at the time of her death.

Bio by: Shock


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peter W. Many, Jr.
  • Added: 5 Nov 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 16473602
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/16473602/joy-adamson : accessed ), memorial page for Joy Adamson (20 Jan 1910–3 Jan 1980), Find a Grave Memorial ID 16473602, citing Joy Adamson Gravesite, Meru National Park, Meru, Kenya ; Maintained by Find a Grave .