Global wildlife charities based in Horsham announce merger

Will Travers and Virginia McKenna
Will Travers and Virginia McKenna

Two leading wildlife charities based in Horsham have joined forces and merged resources in a move announced today (Monday February 16).

Born Free and Care for the Wild International have united and will operate under the Born Free Foundation’s name.

Care for the Wild, originally set up by Dr Bill Jordan in 1984, will cease to exist as a result of the merger.

A spokesperson for Born Free said Care for the Wild’s staff and projects portfolio will be incorporated ‘into the Born Free family’.

Miles Watkins, outgoing chair of trustees for Care for the Wild, said: “After long and careful consideration, the trustees wanted to secure the best future for our projects, programmes and staff in an effort to continue to promote the cause of animal welfare most effectively around the world.

“We believe our founder would be delighted with our joining up with his old friends. Through this union our valuable work is strengthened.”

Both organisations have recently celebrated their 30th anniversary, with Born Free also launched in 1984, by actors Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers.

Their son Will Travers, president of the Born Free Foundation, noted the ‘strong parallels’ between the two ‘great’ organisations.

He said: “Like my parents, Bill Jordan, Care for the Wild’s founder, has spent much of his life campaigning passionately to improve the lives of animals.

“As a result, the organisations evolved along similar paths, and with a like-minded and shared vision for a kinder world.

“We still have a long way to go, but incorporating Care for the Wild and expanding the team offers Born Free even greater opportunities to help wild animals in need and signals the next chapter in a dynamic and exciting future.”

Dominic Dyer, a former chair and current policy advisor to Care for the Wild, said: “Merging Care for the Wild within the Born Free Foundation is a hugely beneficial step for the global wildlife protection movement.”

And Adam M. Roberts, CEO of the Born Free Foundation and of Born Free USA, added: “This timely move will give us more firepower to tackle the important issues we face on a daily basis in the UK, overseas and wherever else Born Free’s influence extends.

“I am personally delighted to be expanding our dedicated and motivated team, which will enable us to reach new heights in our fight for wildlife.

“With the ongoing support of both Care for the Wild and Born Free Foundation champions we will be able to grow and achieve so much more in the years to come.”