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When One Hollywood Couple Decided To Adopt a Pet Lion At Home

Tippi Hedren, perhaps most famous for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, is an actress of formidable gifts. But her role as an animal-rights activist and conservationist might well be Hedren's most lasting legacy. For decades, her Roar Foundation and the animal sanctuary, Shambala Preserve, in California have advocated for big (and not so big) cats—from lions and leopards to bobcats and servals—and she's been honored with a host of humanitarian and conservation awards through the decades.

In 1971, LIFE photographer Michael Rougier spent time with Hedren; her teenage daughter, Melanie Griffith, her then-husband, the agent and movie producer, Noel Marshall; and others at their home in California. Also in attendance: Neil, a 400-pound mature lion, who occasionally slept in the same bed as Griffith and, as these pictures attest, had the run of the house, from the kitchen to the living room to the swimming pool.

Decades and several attacks later -- one lion clawed daughter Melanie Griffith in the face during the production of the 1981 film Roar and required that Griffith undergo surgery -- Hedren admitted that having a lion live in her home alongside her children was "stupid beyond belief." 

the incredible adoption story of a pet lion
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Funniest Wildlife Photography Winners (41 Photos)

Animals are cute and funny; we can all agree on this, right? Good. Now we've gotten that out of the way, here are the winning photos for a competition for the funniest animals. I don't know how long the photographers had to wait to capture these moments, but the waiting certainly paid off because these photos are the best thing you'll see all year. 

the funniest animal pictures
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Crazy Safari Encounters of A Furry Kind

Living in suburbia, there is nothing like getting away from it all and going into nature, and experiencing everything that urbanization can't offer. Some take it a step further, and seek out foreign lands in order to experience the real wild. So they go on a guided Safari tour with guides and cars that gives them the most authentic experience possible.

But there is no doubt that being up close and personal with animal is an incredible opportunity they probably won't have again. And for some of these people, after their experience, they might never want to again.

Crazy encounters with safari animals
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Lion's mane is absolutely beautiful.
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Who's giving this lion a daily blowout? I want to make an appointment stat.


Leon, a Congolese lion at the Labem Zoo in the Czech Republic, is drawing a lot of stares and a little bit of jealousy due to his perfect mane. Not only that, he is known around Europe and has been awarded the best mane in Europe for several years now. If you adore these regal creatures as much as us, then these majestic lions who are also total goofballs will have your spirits soaring. 


The coiffed bit of beauty atop his majestic head has I mean, look at this face:



Leon has been at the zoo since 2005. And, if you believe The Daily Mail, he needs no help to look so fine.


Also, Obvs.



Me irl



One more funny face.


PETA makes its own cecil killing dentist halloween costume.
Via PETA
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Who knew PETA wanted to get into the Halloween costuming game?

By this time, you've all most likely heard of Cecil the lion and the American dentist who illegally killed him.

And also, you've maybe heard about the preeeeetty tasteless costume thrown together by costumeish.com so that Halloween revelers can celebrate in style. It looks like this:



The page says it includes "severed lion's head, smock with fake blood splatters, gloves with fake blood splatters, dentist tools in front pocket".

Hilariously, after a big outcry and even bigger petition, the page also says this:

Due to public outlash and petition launched by Doreen Harley and the almost 40,000 signatures along with the opinion of our company we will be donating 100% of the profit from our Lion Killer Costume to a Wildlife Foundation. Our intentions are not to make profit off the beloved Lion. However please remember, if our costume caused an immediate reaction such as disgust or anger to you just imagine how Cecil felt.



But that wasn't enough for PETA, because nothing's ever enough for PETA. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals put their best, most vegan minds to the job and created a Halloween costume of their own called "Cecil's Revenge Halloween Costume".

Here's a picture of it again.



The product page describes it as such:

Halloween aficionados can turn the table on trophy hunters' ghoulish pastime with this cheeky new limited-edition costume. "Cecil's Revenge" features a dentist's uniform with a "Dr. Palmer" name tag, complete with a plush lion grabbing the dental coat from behind, leaving bloody claw marks. Accessorize with a drill, a toothbrush, or a toy crossbow.



Oh, and it also costs $140.

So just know that come Halloween, you have many options available to you

It's very surprising no one has put together a sexy Cecil the lion costume.

Arnold Schwarzenegger posts on Instagram to protest lion hunting.
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As if lion hunters weren't having a bad enough week, now the Terminator's after them.

Joining the growing outrage over the Minnesotan lion-hunting dentist who illegally killed a Zimbabwean lion, Arnold Schwarzenegger took to Instagram July 30. He had a few things to say about the ongoing practice of hunting big cats.

He used the hashtag #5forbigcats drawing attention to a National Geographic donation drive raising money to expand conservation efforts.

Big cats in the wild are disappearing at an alarming rate. In fact, within our lifetime, lions in the wild could disappear forever. In support of World Lion Day (August 10), we're raising money to preserve big cats—like lions—and their habitats through National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative.

Your donation, no matter how small, will make a very real difference in the lives of these majestic creatures. From building livestock enclosures to save snow leopards in Nepal to combating lion snaring and poaching in Zambia, the Big Cats Initiative provides on-the-ground conservation and education support to preserve big cat populations worldwide. 100 percent of your donation supports the fieldwork and expeditions of the Society's scientists and explorers, and our work to share their remarkable discoveries with the world.



Earlier that same day, before using his old body building accolades to define a trophy, he posted another message to big cat hunters on Instagram.



July 30 was also Arnold's birthday. The former governor of California chose to spread a little message against big cat hunting while turning 68 years old.

Appropriately, he's a Leo.

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If you haven't heard about it by now, a dentist from Minnesota paid $50,000 to illegally kill a beloved and protected lion in Zimbabwe earlier this month.

The whole things seems to have gotten the better of the usually unflappable Jimmy Kimmel.

"It's just vomitous," he said while going on a tirade against the senseless killing of exotic trophy animals.

Kimmel actually grew emotional as he tried to understand the thought process of a big game hunter. It was a very tender moment for the often-cynical talk show host.

Adding to his credit, Kimmel wanted to bring some positive to story by circulating the web address of a conservation organization, and asked viewers to donate.



Way to make something good out of something that has caused a lot of Internet vitriol, Jimmy.

Lion Hunting Dentist draws everyone's ire.
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One of the "most famous lions in Africa", and an ongoing research subject of Oxford University, was hunted and killed illegally by a Minnesotan Dentist in early July and everyone is pissed.

Cecil the lion was the leader of his pride in a Zimbabwean and had been widely publicized to draw attention to the university's studies.

According to The Guardian:

On Tuesday, the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said the man thought to have paid $50,000 (£32,000) for the chance to kill Cecil was not a Spaniard as originally believed, but US citizen Walter Palmer, from a small town near Minneapolis. The man left the lion skinned and headless on the outskirts of the park, the ZCTF's Johnny Rodrigues said in a statement.

The hunt took place around 6 July. "They went hunting at night with a spotlight and they spotted Cecil," Rodrigues said. "They tied a dead animal to their vehicle to lure Cecil out of the park and they scented an area about half a kilometre from the park."

The 13-year-old lion was wearing a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University research project that had been running since 1999, making it possible to trace his last movements. Rodrigues said the hunters tried to destroy the collar, but failed.



Here's some Oxford University footage of Cecil in his habitat:



Palmer pictured below on the left with another lion he killed, not Cecil, has received wide spread condemnation from just about everyone.



Multiple Facebook groups have been set up to shame the hunter.

And his dentist office's Yelp account is being creatively pummeled.







The reaction spread so big it spilled over into real life, causing Palmer to shut up his office July 28.



Palmer's defense is that he simply did not know. That has done nothing to stop the creation of an online petition calling for justice, which has already been signed by almost 70,000 people.

And it hasn't stopped the swarming of protesters and reporters around Palmer's house.



The Guardian goes on to say that, with the removal of Cecil as the pride's leader, another male lion will move in to dominate the pride and likely kill Cecil's cubs.

So, not the happiest of endings.

Via ShareBear
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Watch this guy get on all fours and prance around with a couple of young lions at the zoo.

The two appear to play along him as he runs back and forth, and they even start pawing at the glass when he gets really close.

Sure, it's all just fun and games now, but once you get rid of that protective barrier it becomes "dinner time"

A similar video emerged last December, in which a lion at the El Paso Zoo tried to "play" with a cute little kid.

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A thick pane of glass is all that stands between this female lion and lunch.

Zari, a 7-year-old African lioness at the El Paso Zoo, was captured on video "playing' with this kid back in December.

She is either really fascinated by children, or she really wants to eat them.

The zoo says the animals are just curious, and that the glass is definitely strong enough to protect anyone from harm, so there isn't anything to worry about here.

"When some of our lions see little kids, it seems like it calls attention to them and they want to check them out," a zoo spokesperson told TODAY.com. "She was just trying to play, and the baby was so close. The baby is safe behind a really thick window, which is made so that visitors can see the animals up close."

But lion expert Craig Packer told The Daily Mail that the beasts like to play with babies before eating them.

"Predators generally treat calves/fawns/babies differently from adults because they are such easy prey; there's no real chance of escape, so what's the hurry?" he said.

Yup, she just wants to check him out… with her teeth.

By Unknown
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The world's first known liliger -- half lion, half liger -- was recently born at a Siberian zoo. Mom is the liger, dad is the lion, and the cub is 100% adorable.

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