Fascinating Photos of Neil, the Pet Lion of Tippi Hedren and Melanie Griffith

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Tippi Hedren, best known for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963), was also famous for her dedicated commitment to animal rights and conservation activism. Her non-profit The Roar Foundation and the 80-acre wildlife habitat Shambala Preserve have taken care of and advocated for tigers and lions for decades. In 1971, she, together with her daughter Melanie Griffith and her then-husband Noel Marshall, shared their home in California with a 400-pound mature lion named Neil. Take a look at him playing and relaxing with the family through these fascinating photographs taken by LIFE photographer Michael Rougier:

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