Lions Tigers in a farmer’s field?……… IN England?


To avoid confusion the cages below are not in a zoo, these big cats in my photos were all rescued from zoos then released into the wild. 🙂

I had intended to call this post Animal Zoos are cruel! But that’s a negative title and I’m a positive guy please read on……………. 


I hope you’ll enjoy Matt Monro (yes we had our own Frank Sinatra) singing ‘Born Free’ perhaps you’ve never heard this tune before?

Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart

Live free and beauty surrounds you
The world still astounds you
Each time you look at a star

Stay free, where no walls divide you
You’re free as the roaring tide
So there’s no need to hide

Born free, and life is worth living
But only worth living
’cause you’re born free

Stay free, where no walls divide you
You’re free as the roaring tide
So there’s no need to hide

Born free, and life is worth living
But only worth living
’cause you’re born free

Songwriter and words © John Barry

Now as you may imagine (me being me) there’s several reasons for sharing his beautiful song and isn’t Matt’s vocal tones wonderful? I prefer to say create posts so this one has several threads which will be tied by the finish, also my post under title possibly tells you I abhor zoos, I’m disgusted by them, however much they window dress their cages and compounds as conservation they are prisons built for animals! 

Many years ago I visited London Zoo a famous 19th century institution and originally called a menagerie so that the public could come see animals (captured) from around the Empire! I payed the inflated entrance fee but on first sight of seeing a majestic Congo gorilla sat rocking back and forth in a tiny cage, I turned and left one of the most hellish places on earth with tears in my eyes with a sickness in my stomach and I haven’t visited a Zoo in twenty five years!

So A. Shepherdson pray tell me what could possibly link your hatred of Zoos with Matt Monro singing ‘Born Free’? Crikey I’ll try and keep this post straight forward and simple because you all have homes to go to, John Barry’s song ‘Born Free’ was written for a movie of the same name starring Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, tell you what here’s ‘Rotten Tomatoes’ movie synopsis,

‘Born Free is the heart warming true story of a British couple who teach their pet lioness how to survive in the wilds of the African jungles. Joy and George Adamson (portrayed by real-life married couple Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers) involuntarily domesticate several lions while living in Kenya. They keep one, named Elsa, until she is fully grown, and rather than turn her over to a zoo, they decide to train her to live like a wild animal so that they can release her into her natural habitat. Geoffrey Keen is a sympathetic government official who convinces the Adamson’s that they should set Elsa free to avoid being ordered to place her in captivity. The film, based on Joy Adamson’s book, is poignant and emotional without ever becoming banal or overly sentimental. The title song and film score both won Academy Awards.’

🙂 Virginia and Bill after appearing in this wonderful film were so touched by the central story namely returning a captive lion back to the wild that they set up the charity The Born Free Foundation of which I am a paid up member.

The BFF’s charity aims are many both political conservation and YES returning captive Zoo animals back to the wild, and like all charities they operate on donations incidentally Virginia still continues to work with the charity she and Bill founded.

Below are several photographs taken by myself on one of the BBF’s open days for members to see their work, what you see is the rather surreal sight of large wired enclosures situated in a secret secure location in deepest rural Kent and do you wish to know what connects these post threads together?

I’ve tried my very best to keep this tale as simple as possible so here’s the ending, members pay the BFF to free lions and tigers from their zoological prisons, assimilate and familiarise them with fending themselves inside simulated wild conditions then finally return these beautiful animals back to where they belong…….. the wild!

The following five pictures were taken by me at the charity’s open day!

All these ‘big cats’ having been rescued from Zoos across Europe were…………….

I can assure you this blurred photo is a Tiger
A Lion
A Tiger
A Tiger
Same Tiger enjoying an English summer but a little closer!

……………….  transported and returned to the wild where they lived happily ever after, BUT remember they were the lucky ones. 

A. Shepherdson 2018 © (Zoo opinions are all my own feel free to disagree)

11 thoughts on “Lions Tigers in a farmer’s field?……… IN England?

  1. I think everybody from my generation knows the lyrics of this song. That movie was a great hit. I feel the same about animals in zoos Andrew; I even hate to see canaries in a cage. It is just not the way animals were meant to live. On the other hand, we have the problem that our wild rhinos and lions are in perpetual danger FROM HUMANS in their natural habitat. Humans should remain in their cages and leave the animals to their own devices. I should not even be talking about this because I can not control my temper.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The afternoon spent at the farm lifted my heart a truly uplifting experience, if only all zoo animals could be rescued and taken to places like the above, oh and whilst there Virginia McKenna gave me her autograph!! And I’m with you Hester, the way human’s treat wild animals makes me angry but charities like BFF try their best.


  2. I don’t like to see animals caged either.. And yet as you say these animals were the lucky ones.. I have seen on line some of the horror of some of the European Zoo’s and even though these conditions do not look all that great.. I expect they are probably better than where they came from..

    What gives humans the rights at all to capture and cage animals?? I wonder how they would feel if they were incarcerated 24/7 to be kept from their species and throw scraps of food and be watched all day..

    I am pleased though that there are humans who are doing their best to re-home these beautiful animals.. But if we had not interfered with nature in the first instance there wouldn’t be a problem..
    Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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