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Bill Travers

DORKING, England (Reuters) — British actor and animal conservationist Bill Travers, who gained stardom in the 1966 film “Born Free,” died at his home in southern England March 29 at age 72, his animal charity said.

The Born Free Foundation said in a statement that Travers died peacefully in his sleep at the home in Dorking, south of London, that he shared with his actress wife, Virginia McKenna.

Travers and McKenna co-starred in the film based on the exploits in Kenya of George Adamson and his wife, Joy, in handrearing lions and releasing them into the wild.

Both Adamsons later died violent deaths in the African bush — Joy Adamson in 1980 and George Adamson nine years later.

After “Born Free,” Travers and McKenna increasingly devoted their lives to animal welfare and in particular campaigned against keeping animals captive in zoos.

Survivors include his wife and five children.

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