Will Travers

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Will Travers
William Morell Lindon Travers

(1958-11-04) 4 November 1958 (age 60)
OrganizationBorn Free Foundation
Home townSurrey, London
ChildrenLily (1991) William aka 'Wij' (1994)

Will Travers is an English director, writer, broadcaster and animal rights activist from Surrey, President of the Born Free Foundation and president of Born Free USA and Species Survival Network.[1][2] Son of English actors Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna.

Will Travers travelled with his parents to Kenya in 1963, when he was five years old, where his parents Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna were starring together in the 1966 true-life film, Born Free (1966), portraying conservationists Joy Adamson and George Adamson, who rescued a lioness cub called Elsa and successfully returned her to the wild. The experience led them to become active supporters for wild animal rights as well as the protection of their natural habitat.[3] When Travers was 12 years old the family also took care of Christian, a captive-bred lion, originally from Ilfracombe Zoo and who came, via Harrodsburg department store and a furniture shop on the King's Road in Chelsea, to live at the Travers's family home in Surrey, England, before subsequently being returned to a wild and free life in Africa by, their friend, conservationist George Adamson.

The story of Christian was made into a film, Christian, The Lion at World's End, by Travers' father, Bill. A clip from the film, known as 'The Reunion', has been seen more than 100 million times on YouTube.

Travers' mother McKenna appeared in An Elephant Called Slowly, a travelogue which features elephants Eleanor (brought up by conservationist Daphne Sheldrick) and young elephant Pole Pole. The subsequent premature death of Pole Pole, after the elephant was transferred to London Zoo was to lead to McKenna and her husband launching the Zoo Check Campaign in 1984.[4] As cofounder, Will Travers assisted his parents in establishing Zoo Check and to their establishing the "Born Free Foundation" in 1991. Travers also founded the Species Survival Network in 1992. Travers is President of both the Born Free Foundstion, Born Free USA and the Species Survival Network. Travers is a Trustee of The Hummingbird Initiative, a Patron of The High Five Club, an Advisor to the Olsen Animal Trust, a company director of Nice Little Effort Limited.

Travers was awarded the OBE in Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Birthday Honours 2012 for services animal welfare.

Travers started following a vegetarian diet in 1983 and made the transition to veganism in April 2014.[5]


  1. ^ "Chief Executive's Office". Born Free Foundation. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Will Travers (@willtravers) | Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
  3. ^ "BORN FREE'S HISTORY". Born Free Foundation. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  4. ^ Gilchrist, Roderick. "Virginia McKenna: freedom's deadly price". The Telegraph, 13 January 2011. Retrieved 9/5/12 at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/8257102/Virginia-McKenna-freedoms-deadly-price.html
  5. ^ "Born Free President Will Travers OBE About Respect For Animals". Vegan Life Magazine. 16 August 2017. Archived from the original on 30 December 2018. Retrieved 4 November 2018.