Tippi Hedren Refused To Evacuate Big Cat Preserve Amid Weekend Wildfire Drama
Actress Tippi Hedren attends the 2014 Princess Grace Awards Gala with presenting sponsor Christian Dior Couture at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 8, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California – Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images North America.
Veteran actress Tippi Hedren has assured fans she and the big cats she protects at the Shambala Preserve in Acton, California are safe and well following the drama of a weekend wildfire.
The Birds star reveals she was asked to leave Shambala at the height of the Sand Fire, but she refused to leave behind the animals and their keepers and on Tuesday she returned to the Internet after a blackout to thank fans and friends for their support.
Tippi reveals the animal experts at Shambala were asked to “stay in place” due to “the professional knowledge gained over 40 years of work with the big cats”, but she was asked to evacuate the estate.
“I was asked to leave by Chris Gallucci (Shambala Director), which I declined,” the actress told WENN.
“The knowledge of these amazing men and women is to be commended. The animals did not have to be put through the dangerous and agonizing stress of evacuation. We have been blessed by our staff who evaluated the situation, both the pros and cons of the situation and the pros and cons of a solution, as well as officials who work with us and who I respect on the highest level.”
“The force of the Sand Fire has been demonic,” she adds. “May we never have to witness this display of horror ever again.
“Thank you to all of you who have been standing by us and trying to reach out to us with to no avail. All of our power and communication with the outside world has been out since the fire peaked.”
The fire destroyed homes near the city of Santa Clarita, California, including the Sable Ranch, which was used as the backdrop to a number of films and TV shows such as 24, The A-Team and Mel Brooks’ historical comedy Robin Hood: Men In Tights.
And late on Sunday, Melanie Griffith asked fans for prayers after receiving news that the Shambala Preserve was in the path of the flames.
“Please say a prayer for all residents in the path of the #SandFire. My Moms (sic) place Shambala is being evacuated… If anyone has info on #SandFire on Soledad Cny (Soledad Canyon Road). Please share!! My Moms at (the address) 6867.”
Melanie later revealed her mother and the animals at Shambala were fine, writing, “Mom is safe! Shambala is safe. Now sending love and thanks to all the firefighters who saved her and the cats…”
Tippi founded the Roar Foundation in 1983 to help raise funds for the upkeep of the Shambala Reserve and has become a prominent animal rights activist.