Virginia McKenna & Will Travers, CEO
We will always be loyal supporters of the Born Free Foundation (BFF) as it was their work that inspired us to support animal welfare and conservation. It began when our founder, Sue, participated in Born Free's rescue of a circus lion called Simba. After spending the first 9 years of his life in a French circus, Simba was relocated to a wildlife sanctuary in Malawi. After accompanying the Born Free rescue team and the wonderful Virginia McKenna, OBE, on this journey, there was no turning back. Since then we have participated in a further rescue of two circus lions from Bulgaria and a further two from zoos in Spain, all of who are now at Born Free’s big cat sanctuary in South Africa. We have hosted a number of events to raise funds and awareness of their rescue work and we continue to attend and support Born Free's own fundraising events. Sue was honoured to be a Trustee of the Born Free Foundation for six years and she is now on the steering committee for a proposed European Elephant Sanctuary.
What Born Free does
Animal welfare, including rescue, rehabilitation and care of wildlife
Support conservation and education programmes in the field
Campaign to keep wildlife in the wild
Wildlife conservation research
Advocacy and policy work on both welfare and conservation issues
How Olsen Animal Trust helps
Our Founder, Sue Olsen, is a Trustee of the Born Free Foundation
Host fundraising and awareness events on Born Free's behalf
Sue & Jon Olsen Jon are steering committee members on European Elephant Sanctuary initiative
Support lion rescues and subsequent lifetime care and facilities
Financially support the Species Survival Network - co-founded by Will Travers, OBE, CEO and President of Born Free
Fund a number of projects alongside Born Free, including a wildlife emergency rescue unit in Malawi and a primate rescue and rehabilitation project in Zambia
Project Images - hover over for details
Simba in his travelling crate
Simba was rescued from 9 years of working in the circus industry. After 18 months of rehabilitation, pictured here, loaded in his crate ready for his journey to his new forever home where in sanctuary at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre in Malawi.
Bella, Sue & Virginia McKenna, OBE
Sue with Virginia McKenna saying hello to lioness Bella at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre in Malawi. Bella was rescued by Born Free from a Romanian Zoo 6 years earlier and she now lives alongside Simba, the rescued circus lion.
BFF Kenya team at Elsa's Grave
Sue & Jon pictured here with Will Travers, President and CEO of The Born Free Foundation along with members of the Kenyan Born Free team. This particular picture was taken in Meru at the grave of Elsa the lioness, whose life story was told in the Born Free film.
Glen - Head Animal Carer
Glen Vena, head animal carer of Born Free's Big Cat Sanctuary, pictured here making a heartfelt speech at a fund raising event in 2014 that we held in aid of the sanctuary.
The Olsen Family & Plaque
The Olsen family proudly standing outside the renovated animal care facility at Born Free's Big Cat Sanctuary. This was possible due to the generosity of friends who supported OAT's Out of Africa event.
Virginia speaking at our Out of Africa Event
Virginia McKenna, OBE, featured here at our Out of Africa fund raising event that we hosted in aid of Born Free's Big Cat Sanctuary.
Sue on the Black & Jora Rescue trip
Sue sitting on top of one of the lion crates at the end of another successful Born Free rescue. This time two lions from a circus in Bulgaria. There was much relief all round when the lions were eventually released into their new enclosure within the Shamwari Private Game Reserve.
Black & Jora enjoying their new home
Black & Jora, two lions rescued from a Bulgarian circus, pictured here in their enclosure at their new forever home at Shamwari Private Game Reserve.
Dave, Sue & David Simpson at Shamwari
Dave, our OATOKE, Sue, and close friend David Simpson, pictured here during a rescue trip of two circus lions, Black & Jora. David Simpson not only participated in this rescue trip as a friend of OAT, but also also agreed to cover the lifetime care of the lions at their new forever home at Born Free's big cat rescue centre in South Africa.
Rescued lion Ciam
A relatively young lion, at only three years old, Ciam settled into his new surroundings quickly and easily. Should the right opportunity arise, it is the hope of BFF and OAT that a rescued female maybe successfully paired with Ciam so they can live happily together. Both will be sterilised to ensure no breeding. The last thing we want is more lions destined for a life n captivity!
Sue, Virginia McKenna, OBE & Alicia
Sue and family friend Alicia Hosking joined Virginia McKenna on the rescue of two ex european zoo lions. Pictured here next to the travelling crates that were used to transport the lions from the rehabilitation centre in Belgium to Born Free's Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa. Following the trip Alicia generously agreed to cover half of the life time care of these lions alongside OAT.
Rescued lion Nelson
17 year old Nelson was rescued by Born Free from a zoo in France where he had spent his whole life. It took him a while to get used to his large, natural enclosure at Shamwari Big Cat Sanctuary but now he is comfortable and relaxed in his forever home.
For further information on the work of Born Free please visit www.bornfree.org.uk