I had to try and get this on the website. This is an old photo from Tippi Hedren’s home. Melanie Griffith is her daughter. At one time in the 1970s this huge male live-in lion was treated as a pet by Hedren’s family.
“I cringe when I see those pictures now…” Tippi Hedren says.
I have to embed the photo from FB because it is copyrighted to Life Magazine. Hedren regrets the carelessness with which she let Neil the lion share her home. There is always a real danger in doing this and she realizes it especially the fact that she jeopardised her daughter’s safety.
She says she was advised by the lion’s trainer to do the following to avoid riling the lion:
- to respect him (not difficult!)
- not to scratch the lion’s nose
- not to rush up and put your arms around him
- not to turn your back on him
- to pet his mane or under his chin
- not to pet his face
- to ensure the lion did not become possessive about anything. At these times lions can become dangerous
Tippi has a famous sanctuary in California. Shambala Preserve, for some 32 big cats:
Tippi Hedren is now 84 and wiser. She advocates against keeping big cats as pets and the trade between US states of big cats. She was instrumental in the enactment of a 2003 law ending this traffic.