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For the 5th year, our foundation supports Tippi Hedren’s The Roar Foundation. We decided to attend the annual membership event held at Lake Shambala.

One of the big cats on the Preserve. Photo Credit: Sandor Havasi

The Shambala Preserve is located in Acton, California. This year a devastating and dangerous fire encroached on part of the preserve. As we drove along the winding road, we could see that the fire reached the land and surrounding areas of Lake Shambala. Of course, due to drought conditions, there is very little water in the lake.

Many members were on hand and using color-coded stickers, we were divided into three groups. First, we were served a vegetarian boxed lunch with beverage of our choice. We sat with some interesting members and enjoyed getting to know them. Among them actor, Larry Laverty, who had worked on a large number of films and television shows (www.lavertyHillMob@cs.com).

The Shambala Preserve is such an incredible location. Photo credit: Sandor Havasi

There were many volunteers helping at the reception desk, raffle ticket displays, silent auction tables, Shambala gift shop, and membership booth.

Tippi’s photographer, Bill Dow, was on hand to document the event. After lunch, we began our tour to visit the big cat residents. We visited a few times in past years and noticed as we toured quite a number of new big cats, namely–

Tigers: Alexander, Dakota, Jania, Jiang, Kendra, Mona, Sabu, Shatari, Shur-Kan, Simba, Mendhi Racana, and Zoe

Servals: Jasmine, Nala, and Petey

Lions: Henson, King, Lily, Uhuru/Freedom, and Zoe

Leopard: Savannah

Cougar: Ramona and Trinity

Bob Cat: Tabbi

Pictured – Alex Havasi, Tippi Hedren, and Marilyn Fordney. Thank you Tippi Hedren and Shambala Preserve for a very special time. Photo courtesy of Bill Dow.

At the end of our tour, desserts were served and results were given for the various fund raising activities. Tippi Hedren was introduced and thanked everyone for their generosity in helping her keep these big cats housed and fed.  Hot off the press was her new biographical book that she autographed for those who wanted copies. She mentioned that the California High-Speed Rail Authority might route a bullet train through Acton and this may possibly impact The Shambala Preserve. She asks the public’s help to stop this project from killing the city of Acton. Questions were encouraged from the audience and one attendee asked about how they fought the fire. Tippi introduced Director Chris Gallucci who explained that they have water and he gives the orders so that every worker and volunteer help to carry them out. Because he gave the order not to evacuate the animals, this meant they would stand firm and fight the fire. That is exactly what they did and they were successful because of a team effort. Besides safari tours, The Shambala Preserve offers overnight tent stays, parent’s day tours, sunset safaris, and school tours. In

Our Group Tour. Photo Credit: Sandor Havasi

addition to an education program, she has a program in which one can actually adopt one of the big cats to help out. (www.shambala.org).

Note: This blog was contributed by Marilyn Fordney.

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