These rarely seen photographs from a 1970s issue of LIFE magazine show what it’s like to live with a real lion. According to helablog, during the 1970s, actress and model Tippi Hedren (mother of actress Melanie Griffith) created the Shambala Preserve after producing the film Roar. This “preserve rescued exotic big cats living in captivity that had been abused or were in need of help, one of which the family created a close bond with. Neil the lion lived with the family in their home, and played an active role in the day to day activities of the preserve.” Continue reading to see more.
The mane of the adult male lion, unique among cats, is one of the most distinctive characteristics of the species. It makes the lion appear larger, providing an excellent intimidation display; this aids the lion during confrontations with other lions and with the species’ chief competitor in Africa, the spotted hyena. Lions spend much of their time resting and are inactive for about 20 hours per day. Although lions can be active at any time, their activity generally peaks after dusk with a period of socializing, grooming, and defecating. Intermittent bursts of activity follow through the night hours until dawn, when hunting most often takes place. They spend an average of two hours a day walking and 50 minutes eating.