Elsa the #lioness was raised, along with her bigger sisters Big One and Lustica, by game warden George Adamson, known as "Baba ya Simba" (#FatherOfLions in #Swahili) and his wife Joy after George forced to kill their mother when she charged him—in defense of her three #cubs, he later realized. After 6 months, caring for the cubs became difficult and Lustica and the Big One were sent to a zoo in Rotterdam. The couple kept Elsa and decided to release her into the wild spending many months training her to hunt and survive on her own. While Elsa lived like a pet when she was small, Joy, whom Elsa trusted the most, considered her an equal. Elsa became the first lioness successfully released back into the wild, the first to have contact after release, and the first known to have cubs.
When Elsa was 3, she brought her cubs to show to the Adamsons, whom the they named "Jespah" (male), "Gopa" (male), and "Little Elsa" (female). Elsa died at the age of 5 of Babesia felis, a form of babesiosis, a tick-borne blood disease similar to malaria, which often infects felines. Elsa's grave is located in the #MeruNationalPark. Her young cubs became a nuisance, killing the livestock of local farmers. The Adamsons, who feared the farmers might kill the cubs, were able to capture and transport them to neighboring #Tanganyika Territory, where they were promised a home at Serengeti National Park.
The fate of the cubs upon their release was uncertain, though George Adamson was able to find Little Elsa alive, healthy, and in the company of two other unrelated lions during 19 months of subsequent searching. Though this was the last that the Adamsons would ever see one of Elsa's cubs, they hoped that Elsa's descendants would continue to live on in the Serengeti. In 1980 Joy was murdered near her camp in #Kenya by a former employee and in 1989 George was shot to death by poachers in #KoraNationalPark. Image courtesy of thefatheroflions.org where you may find the list of books dedicated to the lioness and her cubs written by Adamsons. An award-winning film #BornFree was made about Elsa the lioness.