Monday, October 5, 2015

Scientist of the Week

Image result for joy adamsonOverview:

Joy Adamson was born January 20, 1910, in Troppau, Austria-Hungary. She relocated to Kenya, where she married George Adamson, a British game warden. She won international renown with her African wildlife books, especially the trilogy describing how the couple raised a lion cub, Elsa. In 1961 she founded the Elsa Wild Animal Appeal. At age 69 she was murdered by a disgruntled employee.
Elsa and Book Writing:
After ending her marriage to Bally in 1942, she met a game warden named George Adamson. He became her third husband, and they spent some of their early years together, traveling around East Africa for his job and living in tent camps. In 1956, Adamson's husband shot a lion in self-defense. He discovered that she had only attacked to protect her three cubs. Rescuing the young animals, George brought them home to Joy. They gave two away to a zoo, but they kept one that they named Elsa. Joy developed a close bond with the animal, which she raised. In Born Free (1960), she chronicled her relationship with Elsa and her efforts to return her to the wild. Adamson explained that Elsa;
"became almost like my child. Because I had no children, I have spent all my emotion on her and my other animals. But I cannot make them my own."
Adamson's book became an international bestseller, and its success put the spotlight on the need to preserve African wildlife. She wrote two more books about Elsa and her cubs, Living Free (1961) and Forever Free (1962). In addition to sharing her experiences and observations through writing, Adamson established her own conservation group, the Elsa Wild Animal Appeal.
Adamson spent the last few years of her life exploring her interest in leopards. She was given a leopard cub in 1976, which she named Penny, and she lived in an area where she could observe other leopards in the wild. In addition to her animal studies, Adamson took the time to write her own autobiography, 1979's The Searching Spirit.

On the night of January 3, 1980, Adamson took her usual evening stroll. She never returned home. Only a short distance away, her body was found on the road. It looked like she had been killed in an animal attack at first. A few days later, the authorities determined that Adamson had been stabbed to death. A former employee was arrested and convicted of the crime.
Many were shocked by Adamson's tragic death. The World Wildlife Fund was among those who expressed sadness at her untimely passing. In a statement, the organization praised her for her "ability to present wild animals in such a way that people could relate to them" and credited her with helping "wildlife everywhere." Shortly after her death, Adamson's final book, Queen of Shaba, came out, which detailed her studies on leopards.
--Haley Goodebiddle

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