Talking to Tippi Hedren about Shambala

Linda and Tippi

Linda and Tippi

The Shambala Preserve made the national news a month ago. A resident lion had attacked one of the professional animal caretakers there. We were glad to read that the man had recovered and continued his work at the preserve. This incident was unusual. We know how careful Tippi Hedren, Shambala’s founder, is about being sure her staff is trained to handle, feed, and care for the big cats. Evidently, after the incident they put some new procedures into place that would prevent future accidents.
We have long admired the humanitarian work and animal activism Tippi Hedren does by rescuing animals that are cast-offs from private owners, zoos, and circuses. Some of Shambala’s residents include lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, mountain lions.
The Shambala Preserve and the Roar Foundation, a charitable organization that Tippi established in 1983, has done tremendous work in increasing the public’s knowledge about wildlife. Tippi works tirelessly by promoting legislation that would prevent the sale and trading of wild animals who were never meant by Nature to be domesticated. 
We had the opportunity to interview Tippi Hedren for our book Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster. While we were star-stuck to be talking with movie legend and effective animal activist, after an hour into the interview she had not mentioned her movie career, her many awards, and the she honors she has received for her lifetime of humanitarian work. Instead she focused on the animals who had inspired her to devote thirty years to saving as many of their lives as possible.

Tippi repeatedly stressed that wild animals are not pets. In fact, she refuses to be photographed with the animals at the preserve so as not to convey the message that they are anything other than dangerous predators.
One of our favorite portions of the interview with Tippi came about when we asked her what Shambala means. She said that a woman who helped her with the tedious job of putting the nonprofit foundation together gave her a gift by telling her the name of the preserve could be a Sanskrit word, Shambala, which means “a meeting place of peace and harmony for all beings, animal and human.” Tippi said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our world were like that?”

Wouldn’t it, indeed?

If you are interested in learning more about the wonderful work of Shambala Preserve and Tippi Hedren, visit
What are your thoughts on people attempting to make pets out of those cute little lion and tiger cubs only to discard them when the animals grow up?

Visit to view images of Linda and Tippi.

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