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Joy Adamson

From Academic Kids

Joy Adamson (January 20, 1910 - January 3, 1980) was a naturalist, best known as the author and main character of the book, Born Free, which described her experiences in saving the life of a lioness, Elsa.

She was born Joy Friedericke Victoria Gessner in Opava (Troppau), Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic). With her third husband, George Adamson, she made her home in Kenya on the shores of Lake Naivasha. She studied and painted animals in the wild, and became famous as a result of the publication of Born Free in 1960. Several sequels were also published, and a film was made in which Adamson was portrayed by Virginia McKenna.

In addition to her books about lions, Adamson also wrote two books about Pippa, a cheetah she took on in 1964, first meeting her in an elegant tea room in Nairobi.

Adamson later separated from her husband. In January 1980, in a remote part of Kenya, her corpse was discovered by her assistant. He assumed that Joy had been killed by a lion, and this was what was initially reported by the media.

Further police investigation concluded that Joy was murdered with a sharp instrument. Paul Wakwaro Ekai, Adamson's former employee, was charged with the crime. Her estranged husband, George Adamson, also died at the hands of a murderer nine years later in 1989.

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