The Reason Dakota Johnson’s Grandmother Tippi Hedren Lives WIth Lions and Tigers

The actress might look crazy to some, but she is truly in love with these creatures. For a long time now, since the 1970s, they have been her longest staying. Animals do not betray us, most of the times, and do not abandon us. They are a safe haven, so she built one for them.


When She First Started

As an actress, she has a long list of credits under her belt. However, there was one special movie which changed it all for her, which was the comedy film ‘Roar’ that takes place in a natural preserve in Africa with wild animals. 

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images

She had always been an animal lover, so it did not take a lot for her to fall in love. Even though, according to People, the creation of the film resulted in multiple injuries both for her and her family, the actress is absolutely in love with these creatures and would not change a thing about it.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images


Why It All Started

Hedren stated in an interview that the animal trainers in Hollywood just did not have enough wild animals for them to make the movie and therefore, the producers went and got their own, all rescues. Hedren decided she would adopt them and hence her not-so-little family of big cats was born.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images


Her Granddaughter’s Take On It

Since this all began over four decades ago, it is only natural that her granddaughter, acclaimed actress Dakota Johnson, ended up growing up with the lions and tiger herself. However scary it could have been for anyone else, Griffith, her mother, found it enchanting.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images

Much like her mother, she is also an animal lover. Nonetheless, according to People, Dakota stated that when she was born, they were no longer running wild, they were in huge compounds, so she had time to get acquainted with them and gain their trust before running into them.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images


Safety Above It All

Even though they are now all safely kept, it wasn't always like that. The lions and tigers used to run freely in Hedren's field. Now, it doesn't matter how much you love animals and trust them. Sometimes, you cannot even trust small cats to be trustworthy, let alone big ones.

Dakota was quite happy that by the time that she was born the big cats were already in their compounds and thought it was absolutely insane that they used to run wild as they pleased. Nonetheless, Griffith does share her mother’s love for these little big adorable animals. They seem to be very endearing, to be honest.


Rescue Queen

From an early age, after being told that if the animals were not rescued they would end up losing their life, she decided to take action and adopt these big pets. However, she never thought about buying them; she wanted to save them.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images

Over the course of the years, it is not clear how many animals she saved, but, according to Town&Country, she is currently living with about 13 or 14 of these lovely creatures in her reserve in California. She has since become an animal advocate for all animals and has done something about it.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons


Roar Foundation

The actress made two films in Africa both in the 1960s and in the 1970s and, according to People, was told that if something wasn't done with the big cats, they would be gone by the beginning of the new decade. So, she decided to take matters into her own hands and adopt them!

Most people would look the other way and think that it was none of their business, but that's obviously not the case with Tippi Hedren. She began rescuing her pets in 1971, and by 1983, she had created the Roar Foundation, to help care for her Shambala Preserve and her cats.


Her Legacy

Although she is an amazing actress, there is one legacy that will stand time even after she is no longer with us - which is her work as an animal rights activist and conservationist, as stated per Life. She does not only have lions and tigers but also leopards.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

With a property of 40 miles, she has made sure that her pets are well-taken care. She also hosts monthly tours to the preserve for the public so they can take a sneak peek at her big cats. However, she has stated that she does not allow other people to touch them.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images

Over the years she has gained the trust of these animals, but she is well aware that they do not trust every person that comes near them and, therefore, it would be insane to even think about letting other people get close to them, even though they have been neutered and are living in captivity.


Awards For Having The Kindest Of Hearts

Over the course of her career, the actress has won quite a few awards for her acting. She has also won a few awards for her rescuing and activism. Her first one was in 1997, Lion and Lamb Award from Wildhaven, and she has since received her fair share of awards for her incredible work.

In 1999, she received the Humanitarian Award at the Las Vegas International Film Festival, and in 2004 she received the Animal Rights Advocacy Award at Artivist Film Festival. She has left on a legacy that we suspect will continue on even after she is gone. No matter how much she is criticized for living with big cats.


90 And Living The Life

The actress might be 90, but she is not giving up her animals that easily. During these hard times, the actress is living at peace with her pets and would not change it for the world. According to Town&Country, she has stated that she has no routine other than waking up next to Johny Depp (one of her lions, of course) and reading.

Before Depp, there was Marlon Brando, Sean Connery, and Robert Taylor. She is not sleeping alone ever. In 1971, there was a photoshoot done with her sleeping and reading the newspaper with her lions and was highly criticized for it. It would appear, however, that does not have an effect on her and she truly trusts her pets.


60 Plus Cats

According to an interview given by Dakota to The Graham Norton Show, there used to be about 60 big cats living with her grandmother, but it would appear that they have since been reduced. The actress looked quite shy talking about it, so we will leave it up to you to decide whether she shares her mother and grandmother’s love for the pets.


Melanie Griffith’s Love For Them

Born from Peter Griffith and Tippi Hedren, the award-winning actress had quite a different life growing up. Can you imagine waking up next to a lion or a tiger? Absolutely insane, right? Well, not for her. On her Instagram page, the actress often shares pictures of these babies.

Although it was already a given that her mother loved the cats, it could have gone anyway but, thankfully for Hedren, her daughter seems to be as in love with her mother’s pets as she is. She also found the same love for acting like her mother, so it does not surprise us that she shares the same love for the wildlife.


A Family Of Philanthropics

Griffith has not, however, become an animal rights activist and conservationist like her mother, but she has just the same philanthropic heart. Nonetheless, her love is directed towards children, much more relatable to most people. She is a big supporter of the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The actress has been helping raise money for the community for a long time over marathons and events, in hopes of opening up a new outstanding pediatric inpatient facility. The truth is that, sadly, some children live their entire childhood in hospitals and they deserve nothing but the best conditions to lead that hard life.


Incoming Philanthropic?

Although it is still not known about any philanthropic work from Dakota’s part, we suspect that that will change over the course of the years. In 2017, she became public with her relationship with musician Chris Martin and, much like her mother and grandmother, he also likes to help those who are most in need.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images


Future Son-In-Law Goals

In 2012, Martin was part of a concert to help raise funds for Hurricane Sandy relief and he is also a big supporter of Band-Aid 30 and Love Button Movement. He is a big defender of the environment and was there when they established the SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals).

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images

It is also commonly known that ever since the band was created, they have been giving ten percent of what they earn to around 28 charities all over the globe, including Amnesty International, Mercy Corps, and Red Cross. If that is not having a kind heart, I do not know what is.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images

Most recently, Coldplay has taken upon themselves to help out Moas, a non-profit organization that aims to help the refugees escaping from the Middle East. With her mother, grandmother, and now her boyfriend all helping out, we are sure that she will do her part; or maybe she is doing it silently, which is always an option.

Image Credits: Getty Images

Image Credits: Getty Images


Nothing But Love

She might be criticized for her overtrust in her big cats, but, over the years, it seems that she has gained their trust and they will not be leaving her side any time soon. Most people would have looked the other way and let these poor animals suffer; instead, she decided to give them the best life possible. Do you have some weird passion?

Sources: People, The Graham Norton Show, Life, Town&Country

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