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Born Free
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
Bella, Sue & Virginia McKenna, OBE
BFF Kenya team at Elsa's Grave
Glen - Head Animal Carer 
The Olsen Family & Plaque
Virginia speaking at our Out of Africa Event 
Sue on the Black & Jora Rescue trip
Black & Jora enjoying their new home
Dave, Sue & David Simpson at Shamwari
Rescued lion Ciam
Sue, Virginia McKenna, OBE & Alicia
Rescued lion Nelson

For further information on the work of Born Free please visit

 © Maria Slough Photography, Olsen Animal Trust, Born Free Foundation  All rights reserved
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