Lion As House Pet : Tippi Hedren, Melanie Griffith and Their Pet Lion

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In the early 1980s, Tippi Hedren and her daughter Melanie Griffith filmed the fraught-with-danger film ‘Roar’ documenting the lives of a dozen or so African lions. The film cost $17 million dollars to make (which was a boatload back then) and  several of its stars/crew were attacked by the lions during filming.

Despite those nasty dramas, Tippi would not be perturbed.  She wanted to make lions, and wild animals in general,  her life.  In 1983 she established the Shambala Preserve in California’s Mojave Desert and The Roar Foundation. Go Tippi. Not content with housing 70+ creatures in this reserve, she also adopted the colourful Anton LaVey’s lion Togar after San Francisco officials decided a lion wasn’t an appropriate house pet. Tippi had other ideas and these photos show that lions really can be house pets. Gulp.  She also cares for Michael Jackson’s bengal tigers, but I don’t think they are allowed in at tea-time.

Tippi Hedren, Melanie Griffith and their pet lion Togar
Tippi Hedren, Melanie Griffith and their pet lion Togar

Images from LIFE Magazine via Retronaut
Photographer : Michael Rougier

  • Erica @ Recycled Fashion

    Amazing story x

  • Rach P

    Those pics are freaking crazy. I love them!! But that is pretty, umm, brave (?) to have a jungle cat as a lap dog.

  • Oddy

    pics are from 1971

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  • Ogre Magi

    You can see a film of Anton la Vey and Togar here
    I wouldn’t have thought the familiar of the Prince of Darkness would have such a gooney sounding voice

  • Jessica Miles

    Those photos are of Neil the Lion, NOT Togar.