Born Free

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Registered Charity Number 1070906

Born Free is an international wildlife charity working tirelessly to ensure that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs.

Born Free opposes the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaigns to Keep Wildlife in the Wild. The charity promotes Compassionate Conservation to enhance the survival of threatened species in the wild and protect natural habitats while respecting the needs and safeguarding the welfare of individual animals.

The Sussex-based charity was founded by actress and conservationist Virginia McKenna OBE, with her late husband Bill Travers MBE and their eldest son Will Travers OBE. Today, Born Free runs conservation projects in over 20 countries across the globe, protecting wild animals including big cats and elephants.


Image of elephants

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More about Born Free

“Our love and concern for animals should go beyond those within our personal environment. We should see the world as a whole, see nature in its entirety and realise the importance of humans being part of the animal world and animals being part of theirs. It is only in this way that we can prevent the complete destruction of our environment and perhaps, ultimately, of ourselves.” - Virginia McKenna OBE

Since 1984, Born Free has sought to have a positive impact on animals in the wild – for their own intrinsic value and for the critical roles they play within the natural world. In the field, this means operating our own sanctuaries, conservation activities and educational outreach programmes, as well as providing long-term support to a range of projects operated by other wildlife charities whose values align with our ethos to Keep Wildlife in the Wild.

Born Free’s nine working priorities are:

To stop captive animal suffering, challenge the captive animal industry and phase out zoos

  • To eliminate trophy and canned hunting by exposing its fundamental immorality and demonstrating alternative solutions
  • To end the illegal trade in wild animals – both live animals and animal parts
  • To rescue and rehabilitate individual animals from captive exploitation
  • To protect threatened species and their natural habitats and find Compassionate Conservation solutions so that people and wildlife can live together
  • To develop an integrated wildlife protection model with particular emphasis on wildlife law-enforcement and community engagement
  • To work to protect habitats and threatened species, focusing initially in West Africa and the Horn of Africa
  • To protect UK wildlife by engaging with government policy makers and the public
  • To educate and inspire people to respect wildlife and natural habitats.

Together we can give animals a future! Every year, Born Free rescues, campaigns for and protects thousands of wild animals around the world. With your support we can give them a better future.

Join Born Free today and help us continue our life-saving work. Your support will help fund our numerous campaigns and projects including: protecting and compassionately conserving threatened species; ending animal exploitation; rescuing individual wild animals from captive exploitation, and challenging the trade in wild animals and their products such as ivory, trophies, and rhino horn.

Photo credits:

Gorillas © Ian Redmond

Elephants © George Logan

Tiger ©

Image of a tiger
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