Freedom Conservation

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FREE AS A BIRD
FREEDOM CONSERVATION

Freedom’s eagles have flown from iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, St. Paul's Cathedral in London and the tallest building in the World, the 829 metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai, recording unique footage that has attracted record audiences to its conservation efforts.

The Dubai images recorded by Freedom’s eagles was the most viewed video on BBC's social media network ever.

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Columbia - the Dubai World Record Eagle Flight

See the Dubai World Record Eagle Flight

THE FALCONER

Freedom aims to reintroduce the White-Tailed Eagle, the largest European eagle, in France and Switzerland. The head of the project, Jacques Olivier Travers has developed a revolutionary technique to reintroduce bird species: It’s about freeing adult eagles, born in captivity, after having taught them to fly and to hunt through to the practice of different sports.

Columbia - Jacques Olivier Travers and Victor the Eagle - 1
Columbia - Géraldine Fasnacht & Victor the Eagle - 1
FREEDOM CONSERVATION AND GÉRALDINE FASNACHT

We met with Jacques-Olivier in 2014 and immediately became one of the Freedom Conservation partners: As an outdoor brand we share the same values: Preserve wildlife and ensure that wildlife and humans may live together in the outdoors. It’s our common playground.

It appeared obvious that Geraldine Fasnacht “the bird woman" and Jacques-Olivier "the man who teaches eagles to fly" should meet each other.

The outcome was stunning: Géraldine flying with the eagle Victor over Chamonix. For the first time an eagle flew with a human. See the video

Then we thought what about sending Géraldine and Victor into the wild together. Our new 2016 project was born: FREE AS A BIRD.

Columbia - Géraldine Fasnacht & Victor the Eagle - 2 Columbia - Géraldine Fasnacht & Victor the Eagle - 2
THE PROJECT: FREE AS A BIRD

“Free as a Bird” offers a deep insight into our relationship with the wild. The story follows Jacques-Olivier, an out of the ordinary falconer and conservationist, his eagle Victor, eager to fly in the wild, and Géraldine, a passionate snowboarder and wingsuit flyer who spends most of her life between the mountains and the sky.

Over a series of expeditions in the great outdoors, the trio will head out to understand what it would take for humans to live in harmony with the majestic white-tailed eagle, a species that has been eradicated from Western Europe half-a-century ago.

Using their combined skills, across water, air and rocky cliffs, they will explore places where these eagles still soar freely, and other places where they used to thrive but have long since disappeared.

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Columbia - Free as a bird - 2
INTO THE WILD

Their journey will challenge us to imagine what it means to be free as a bird. Why has the white-tailed eagle been able to survive in some places, yet was driven to extinction in others? What would it take for us to live in harmony with wild species? How do our ideals hold when those species threaten our own livelihood? What can we learn about our relationship with nature? And ultimately, might it not be time for us to re-wild ourselves?

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3 DESTINATIONS IN EUROPE - 3 ADVENTURES FROM SPRING TO FALL
Columbia - Jacques Olivier Travers and Victor the Eagle - 2
For 20 years now I have dedicated my life to eagles. For this reason I spent most of my time in the nature, with them, flying in all conditions: wind, snow, sun,… Being exposed to the elements I fully measure the importance of having the right equipment to enjoy this experience. Columbia gives each of us the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors whatever the conditions. I am glad Columbia supports the project as we share the same values
Jacques Olivier Travers, the falconer
PARTNERS

The charity Freedom Conservation works in collaboration with a leading conservation initiative, SOS (Save our Species) and UNESCO to raise awareness of threatened wildlife.

Columbia - Free as a bird - 4