Born Wild, By Tony Fitzjohn with Miles Bredin

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The Independent Culture

Tony Fitzjohn's account of the early days of African wildlife conservation paints a far from cuddly portrait of a life in the bush.

After a childhood in suburban North London, Fitzjohn spent a short time working for Express Dairies, before getting himself to Kenya where he landed a job working for George Adamson of Born Free fame.

His memoirs kick off with a no-holes barred description of almost being killed by a lion in his care: "they don't bite chunks out of you – they suffocate you". Not that life was all work and no play.

Fitzjohn, every inch a Seventies Tarzan, recalls scrapes with gun-toting husbands and aeronautical adventures with visiting playboys. In was only in 1989, when Adamson was killed by bandits, that the partying came to an abrupt end.