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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling and passionate read
I happened upon this book entirely by accident. I knew well the story of Joy & George Adamson and Elsa but was entirely unaware of Tony Fitzjohn's contribution to the conservation of African wildlife over the last 40 years. Well, what a read! From the moment I sat down with the book I was enthralled. I was unable to put it down and felt an energy and passion lifting...
Published on 26 Jan. 2011 by Grainne

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling and passionate read, 26 Jan. 2011
I happened upon this book entirely by accident. I knew well the story of Joy & George Adamson and Elsa but was entirely unaware of Tony Fitzjohn's contribution to the conservation of African wildlife over the last 40 years. Well, what a read! From the moment I sat down with the book I was enthralled. I was unable to put it down and felt an energy and passion lifting off the pages towards me at every turn. Tony Fitzjohn is a man to be deeply admired and his obvious lifelong commitment to the lions and leopards (and indeed all wildlife) of Africa is truely inspirational. The personal challenges he faced and overcame are not dwelled upon but the glancing references to them throughout only serve to heighten his achievements in the face of adversity both from within and without. Tony Fitzjohn is a true hero for wildlife and one who tells his story in an entertaining, heartfelt, honest and compelling way. I laughed and cried (in equal measure) while reading this remarkable man's account of his journey to date.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, 4 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Born Wild: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Passion for Lions and for Africa. (Paperback)
What an amazing chap Tony Fitzjohn is! This is a fascinating insight into the tough world of African wildlife conservation and what an awful lot one has to put up with from the animals you are hoping to save or reintroduce and the people you are trying to help! Tony must surely be one of a rare breed himself to have lived such a difficult life and given up so much of what most of us would consider home comforts to help animals in danger. But what a lot of fun along the way!! He sounds tremendous - tough as old boots but a big softy. Very well written, informative and engaging book with great struggles and set-backs, sadness and loss but an equal amount of rip-roaring fun, laughs and awe at what Tony and the people who surround him have achieved against all the odds. Really uplifting!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A quirky and interesting read, 18 Dec. 2014
By 
M. Acott - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Born Wild: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Passion for Lions and for Africa. (Paperback)
You have to admire Tony Fitz-John, the troublesome little bugger from London who read a book as a child (Tarzan) and decided when he was old enough to travel he would up sticks and move to another country in pursuit of the life of his book hero. So off he goes to Africa where he seems to bumble his way around until a meeting with now legendary grandfather of wild cat conservation, George Adamson changes his life. Although Fitz-John did not write the book, the events contained were drawn from his personal memories, notes and other written material. Working with Adamson, he drew on a new found passion for wildlife and African big cats and I bet he never had an inkling all those years ago when he was a rowdy twenty something that he would today become one of the most respected conservationists of our modern day. Tony has a story to tell and an amazing one at that. From his early days working with Adamson at his remote Campi Ya Simba compound in Kora to the driving force behind turning an area of Tanzania into a national park today, Tony's achievements and dedication to the wildlife of a country he is not native to are remarkable. He has battled loneliness, drunkeness, temporary imprisonment, governments trying to deport him, officials trying to oust him and all in the name of conservation. His story is touching, witty and heartbreaking in equal measures. Fitz-John's personality also resonates strongly throughout the book. He is clearly a man with a sense of humoour and whom doesn't take himself too seriously. If his African adventure isn't interesting enough the pace of the book and his amusing quips make this a thoroughly enjoyable read. It's clear he has grown from a conservation novice to a respected and world renowned conservationist. I felt as though we were old friends and he was relaying his personal accounts to me and when the book finished I wanted to know more. Skillful writing but a thoroughly enjoyable read too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Born Wild, 27 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Born Wild: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Passion for Lions and for Africa. (Paperback)
I have bought and distributed many copies of this extroardinary book. It demonstrates how some people helped him in his desperate struggle, the terrible immigration problems he and his wife have had to face, but still keep going against so many odds. which has resulted is getting where he is now, well known and being supported by many to keep up the SAVING of wild life. Tony came up from nothing, loved his lions and understood them, as very few know how to. I for one, amongst many will give him all our support in the future- he has also been awarded the OBE and has been able to thank the Queen in person!! I hope maybe one day they'll make a film on his life, starting with the period with George Adamson, but also reflect the many sacrifices his wife Lucy has made - yes I know some will say but it was her choice but he wouldn't be where he is is now without her. I lived in these parts in George Adamson's times, loved living with so many animals, as Lucy is enjoying now . I admire her tremendously. We must get some film company interested in making that film!! I'll be in the front line to distribute it!! I have ALL their books and films
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BORN WILD, 26 Sept. 2010
By 
Dr S. S. Nagi "Nyrobe" (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This book was first published in 2010, has 317 pages, 82 colour/B/W pictures and 3 large maps. The book is dedicated to the creatures of the wild. ANTHONY RAYMOND FITZJOHN was born on 7.7.1945 in London. His mother gave him for adoption. He was raised in Cockfosters. He loved scouting. It was the book 'Tarzan of the Apes', that inspired him to go to Africa. In 1968, he sails to CAPETOWN, South Africa. He hitchhikes to Kenya. At the long bar at Stanley Hotel, NAIROBI, he meets Ian Hudges, who takes him on safari to MARALAL and teaches bushcraft. In the south, from LOITOKITOK, he could see Mt Kilimanjaro (19,340ft). After reading 'Bwana Game', Fitz was to meet George Adamson. Terence Adamson, 2 years younger, took him to KORA- KAMPI YA SIMBA (camp of the lions). George indroduces Fitz to young lion - Christian. Fitz stayed at Kora for 18 years. A HUNGRY LION IS AN ANGRY LION.
Joy Adamson did not like Fitz or Terence. Afternoon siesta is a must for Fitz. Terence was grumpy old sod, but loved elephants. At the age of 27, Fitz was very happy at lonely Kora, near the TANA RIVER. From George, he learnt animal behaviour and how to use the sense of smell. In 1972, he visits Isiolo and Lake Turkana (Rudolf). One day Christian shook Fitz and gave him hell of a shock. On 19.10.1974, Kora was made into a Game Reserve. Fitz then meets Leakey and Freddie lion cubs at Kora. With more lions and lionesses, the total rose to 10. After George spent time in Nairobi Hospital with broken pelvis, Fitz was next there after a large lion tore his neck and shoulder. He gets bad malaria. Then George and later Terence get attacked by their lions. The game department wanted Kora closed, just as Fitz got his work permit -Assistant Kora game reserve. He goes to Europe to form a 'TRUST'. Then in 1980, Joy Adamason is killed in SABA.
Fitz is given 2 leopard cubs, so 'KAMPI YA CHUI' is built. He learns to fly. Fitz mother died soon after his father had visited him in Kora. Leopard programme was going well. George and Terence were getting older. On 5.4.1986, Terence had died. In 1988, after been asked to leave, Fitz wanted to move to MKOMAZI, 1350 sq miles, game reserve, northeast Tanzania. He was beaten and locked up. On 20.8.1989, George was murdered. He was 83. Fitz missed 'THE OLD MAN'then and he misses him now. Fitz was now 45. Fund raising started, with it improvements to Mkomazi. After solving his drink problem, he falls in love with Lucy Mellotte. North of Mkomazi, is TSAVO West National Park, Kenya. In 1993, his father died of stroke.
The camp in Mkomazi was in KISIMA (water-well). Black rhino and african hunting dogs were reintroduced. Many political problems faced the reserve including hunting. Fitz and Lucy have their son - Alexander (Mukka) in 1996. They marry in Kora. They then have 3 girls, Jemima, Tilly and Imogen. Work started to restore Kora National Park. Mkomazi finally gets its National park status. Their children go to boarding schools. In 2006, Fitz is awarded OBE. This book is a wonderful addition to books on East Africa. Fitz and his team's dedication is visible and palpable and it is lovely to see Fitz remembering his 'OLD MAN' (George Adamson). Other books with similar theme are:-
(1) Bwana Game, George Adamson 1968
(2) My Pride and Joy, George Adamson 1986
(3) The Great Safari, Adrian House 1993
(4) Born Free/Living Free/Forever Free, Joy Adamson 1960/61/62
(5) Lord of the Lions, Sandy Gall 1991
(6) Last of the Free, Gareth Patterson 1994
(7) The Tsavo Story, Dame Daphne Sheldrick 1973
(8) On Playing with Lions, Virginnia Mckenna 1966
(9) Return to the Wild, Norman Carr 1963
(10)A Lion Called Christian, Bourke and Randall 1971 (2009)
Having born in Kenya, I enjoyed reading this book.
Read and ENJOY.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 3 July 2013
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This is a truly amazing story of courage, love, triumph, and sadness as Tony Fitzjohn carries on George Adamson's great work in rearing lion cubs back into the plains of Africa. Despite the numerous challenges he faces, his courage and compassion really shine through in this book. Heartfelt and emotional, this book will make you smile and cry and touch your heart. Change has to start with awareness, prevention, conservation, and protection, and this book highlights the plight of the troubling events African animals face at man's hands. Anyone with interest in big cats, conservation, and a love of wildlife should read this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and beautifully written with great wit and enlightenment, 23 Feb. 2011
An, all round, rounded and impressive man. Tony Fitzjohn's book will not disappoint anyone. Adventure and historical interest abound from a fascinating part of the world, living in danger (the animals being the least danger) and bureaucracy but achieving incredible things. It doesn't surprise me he writes so well too, a man who can turn his hand to anything. Tony Fitzjohn knows what is important in life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!, 13 Jun. 2014
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Wildlife is so important not just now but for future generations..the passion in this book is amazing and we should all learn from this and help where we can.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 7 Dec. 2012
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Enjoyed this book, I have read every book about George Adamson so was great to read from Tony Fitzjohns perspective as well. A man who has done so much for East Africa's wildflife & encountered so many obstacles but always oversome them. Recommend
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brought back childhood memories of Africa, 7 April 2013
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Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
If you like animals its a wonderful story of trying to save the lion population for the next generation to see.
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