Virginia A. McKenna OBE (born 7 June 1931) is a British stage and screen actress, author and wildlife campaigner....McKenna is best remembered for her 1966 role as Joy Adamson in the true-life film Born Free for which she received a nomination for a Golden Globe. Bill Travers, her real life husband, co-starred with her, portraying conservationist George Adamson, and the experience led them to become active supporters for wild animal rights and the protection of their natural habitat. McKenna appeared in An Elephant Called Slowly, a travelogue of what it was like years ago in Kenya. The film features her close friend conservationist George Adamson and also elephants Eleanor (brought up by conservationst Daphne Sheldrick) and young Pole Pole. The subsequent premature death of Pole Pole in London Zoo was to lead to McKenna and her husband launching the Zoo Check Campaign in 1984 and to their establishing the "Born Free Foundation" in 1991.
The photo on the right was found at Miss Marple's Musings where you may find an interview with Virginia McKenna.
And here is an article about her from The Telegraph
“I am comforted by knowing that Pitou had a chance of a life worth living,” she says. “Better three years of living in her natural environment, of feeling grass and dirt under her paws, not concrete. Of seeing the sun rise and set in her homeland.
“I cling to the beauty and strength of nature and all wild creatures with a passion born of certainty that only through them can I retain my perspective about life and my own part in it.”
― Virginia McKenna
Here is a perfectly wonderful video of her acceptance speech at the British Animal Honours ceremony. (And yes I used the British spelling)
And here is a rescued lion being released. The beautiful Sinbad. He has come a long way since being rescued by Born Free from a cramped and rusty cage in a Romanian zoo in July 2007. It has been nearly 5 years since he was released into his enclosure in South Africa, which you can see in the video below
Bishop Gene Robinson