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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.

3 Comments

  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. http://latimes.mycapture.com/mycapture/photoReque

    By: Alan Hagman

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