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Beware of lion

Beware of lion

Dec. 29, 1974:  Leo was a 650-pound lion who lived at the Las Vegas home of Siegried and Roy.  The photo, by Los Angeles Times staff photographer John Malmin, accompanied a profile on the longtime Vegas duo by staff writer Charles Hillinger that began:

LAS VEGAS — Residents of a quiet neighborhood in this gambling capital are awakened every morning by a bloodcurdling roar.

No one gets uptight. It’s only Leo.

Leo, a 650-pound, 5-year-old lion, is one of five large cats living at the home of Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn.

The other animals are Sarah, a rare Siberian tiger; Radscha, a Bengal tiger; Sabu, a black panther; and Sasha, an African leopard.

Signs on gates leading to Fischbacher and Horn’s backyard warn:

‘Beware of Dog.”

The two men have no dogs — just the lion, tigers, leopard and panther.

“The signs are for the burglars,” laughed Horn, adding:

“We’re lucky. No one has tried to break into our place yet.”

Lucky for the burglars. They’d never come out alive if they tried. …

The popular Siegfried and Roy Las Vegas act continued until 2003, when Roy Horn was seriously injured by a tiger.  The pair returned for a final performance in March 2009.

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  1. January 4, 2011, 10:47 am

    Charles Hillinger was my father!! I have an original of that photo, that hung in my room when I was a little girl! Thanks for sharing. Brought a tear to my eyes. My father was an amazing writer, husband and most of all, a wonderful dad! XOXO

    By: torimae
  2. February 19, 2013, 2:00 pm

    is it possible to get a print of this somewhere? Love this image.

    By: staevestaev
  3. February 20, 2013, 11:29 am

    You can submit a request to purchase a print via this link.

    By: Alan Hagman

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