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Info on Tippi Hedren and her Shambala Preserve's Origins

To the general tabloid reading public, Tippi Hedren is the aging actress that scared the birds (or the other way around) in the Alfred Hitchcock’s horror movie “The Birds.” She also happens to be the mother of the drug and alcohol addicted actress, Melanie Griffith.

Tippi is also known in the exotic animal community as a hypocrite, pushing for bans on the private exotic animal ownership, while exempting her own, public donation dependent, Shambala Preserve from the bans that would outlaw the self-supporting, financially stable, private sector.

As Shambala Preserve’s president and owner, Hedren claims her organization saves animals from horrible private ownership. What most people do not know is that her original Shambala Preserve (Roar Foundation) was her very own overgrown collection of 100-140 big cats she bought or bred herself. Tippi was the epitome of the irresponsible exotic animal owner; she bought and bred more animals than she was able to provide for on her own after her movie ROAR failed miserably. Realizing that she needed public donations to support her animals, Tippi established her very own wild animal sanctuary.

So WHY is this irresponsible, hypocritical, exotic animal owner trying to ban others, the responsible, fiscally smart private exotic sector while exempting her own preserve? As a side note, she now has some animals she didn't breed, buy or board. Over the years, Tippi acquired quite a few "pre-owned" animals needing new homes, adding them to her growing menagerie. She has fewer exotic animals now as a sanctuary (less than 70) than when she was collecting her 'working' exotic pets (around 140).


Gallery of examples of dangerous &  irresponsible activities Tippi was engaging in:

- Kids and big cats do NOT mix

- Getting at or below the eye level of a big cat is dangerous

- The lion was illegally in their city home in LA area...



FULL REPORT (click on thumbnail)

 By April 1972, Tippi Hedren already acquired 21 lions, many of whom were originally living illegally in her Los Angeles, California, area city home (as admitted by Tippi herself in her book "The Cats Of Shambala"). The lions were acquired because she needed them for her movie, they were not rescued. 'Rescue' implies you provide shelter for the animals you don't need out of the goodness of your heart; she needed these big cats to make money in the movie business.

 In June 1977, in a matter of 2 days, a woman elephant handler and Tippi were both seriously injured by the bull elephant Tembo.

This September 1977 article's title: "Cost of 'Roar' measured in cast's blood, anguish" says it all.

People kept getting injured because Tippi had no clue about how to interact with the big cats in a responsible manner, yet, she refused to stop filming.


By July 1978, forty eight injuries occured by Tippi's exotic pets. Any responsible person would by this time realize that  maybe they were not made for this and quit. Instead, Tippi continued in her irresponsible behavior.
By December 1978, Tippi kept increasing her personal exotic pet collection. A baby tiglon was born. In the 1982 video below, she admits that out of 113 animals they had at  the time, half were bred by her at her ranch, the rest were acquired from the breeding zoos, circuses and parks. These were  NOT pets rescued from bad owners.
By October 1979, the movie ROAR was still not finished and people kept getting injured. According to the news, Tippi and her ex husband now had 141 big cats and 2 elephants.

None of them had any experience with exotic animals. Tippi was hoping to make $ 150 million in the box office using her exotic pets as props.


 In December 2007, a keeper was injured by a tiger at Tippi's Shambala preserve, but Tippi still refused to take any RESPONSIBILITY.


REXANO Urged Tippi Hedren to Take Full Responsibility Following a Tiger Attack at her Facility

Seems like it is easier to get money by being donation dependent sanctuary than have a for profit, tax paying,  job?

Here is Shambala, Roar Foundation 2007 Tax Return



Shambala Preserve USDA Animal Welfare Report from 2010

 Video from around 1982, showing how irresponsible Tippi was with her visitors, and where she freely admits to breeding, NOT rescuing, half of her exotic pets.

What is a True Exotic Animal Sanctuary? By Zuzana Kukol, September 2008 Unedited Version HERE