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OUT OF MIND » CHANGING ENVIRONMENT & NATURE » NATURE & ENVIRONMENT » The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion

The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion

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PurpleSkyz

PurpleSkyz
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The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion

Jade Small | May 21, 2015 | Life | No Comments

When Griffith was a teenager, her actress mother, Tippi Hedren, and her stepfather, director Noel Marshall, decided they wanted to make a film about big cats after returning from a trip to Africa and seeing them in person. An animal trainer suggested they get to know them better by living with a lion, so they ended up taking Neil into their home.
The star also confessed it was “stupid beyond belief” to treat the 400lb beast like a domestic pet as it could have killed her or her family at any time.
In a series of vintage photographs, taken when Griffiths was just a teen, the bizarre home life of Hedren and her then husband Noel Marshall is catalogued and shows them sharing their LA house with the giant feline, who was called Neil.
While her family were never harmed by Neil, one night he attacked his owner Ron Oxley during a dinner party for British guests at their home.
The pair ‘battled it out’ for dominance in the kitchen, with the lion snarling and batting at the man with a huge paw. Oxley tried to regain control by raising his hands and arms threateningly.
Neil eventually tossed his head and mane in surrender, making subdued muttering noises, and the pair marched out of the house.
Their extraordinary experience with Neil lulled them into a false sense of security which was to have disastrous, almost fatal, consequences.
Indeed, after she, Melanie and the rest of their family suffered a string of serious injuries inflicted by the big cats they went on to adopt after Neil, Hedren has turned full circle in her attitude to such exotic pets.
Now 84, she runs a sanctuary, California’s Shambala Preserve, for some 32 big cats, and is an outspoken critic of the practice – still legal in much of the U.S. – of keeping them as domestic pets. As an activist she was successful in lobbying Congress to pass a 2003 bill ending the traffic between states of big cats.
She is now trying to push through another bill that will stop the breeding of these animals for personal exploitation or their sale as pets.

And these are the amazing photos documenting their time together. This is a teenage Griffith hanging out with Neil in the family swimming pool in Sherman Oaks, California.

The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-18777-1412939243-8
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

And this is Neil grabbing and attempting to bite her leg as she jumps in the water.

The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-7031-1412939237-17
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier
The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-11352-1412939211-26
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

But it wasn’t just the pool Neil was allowed to spend time in, as these photos, which first appeared in Life magazine, show.

The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-6306-1412939212-10
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

Here’s Griffith lying in bed with him in May 1971.

The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-10294-1412939246-14
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

And Hedren, who was famed for such Hitchcock movies as The Birds, using him as a cushion as she reads a newspaper.

The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-4731-1412939216-13
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

They even play-wrestled on the living-room rug.

The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-18505-1412939218-7
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

And also combined the two.

The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-1768-1412939226-17
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

They let Neil into the kitchen.

The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-11996-1412939224-23
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

Like so.

The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-18494-1412939221-15
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

As if it were the most normal thing in the world.

The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-7101-1412939237-8
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

And even Marshall’s study wasn’t safe.

The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-4469-1412939213-7
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier
The Regretful Truth – Melanie Griffith And Her ‘Pet’ Lion Enhanced-buzz-wide-9648-1412939226-22
The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier
 
Sources:
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tippi-hedren-deeply-regrets-allowing-4462507
http://www.buzzfeed.com/kimberleydadds/these-photos-of-a-teenage-melanie-griffith-and-her-pet-lion#.lflzWbLOe
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2797870/tippi-hedren-reveals-regrets-letting-beast-share-family-home-letting-sleep-daughter-melanie-griffiths-bed.html
- See more at: http://www.the-open-mind.com/the-regretful-truth-melanie-griffith-and-her-pet-lion/#sthash.h9wrbKoj.dpuf


Thanks to: http://www.the-open-mind.com



  

MartyM

MartyM
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