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These Photos Of A Teenage Melanie Griffith And Her Pet Lion In The 1970s Are Quite Something

The actress's family adopted the wild cat, named Neil, back in 1971.

Updated — Oct. 11, 12:04 p.m. ET:

Actress Melanie Griffith lived with a pet lion in the early 1970s when she was a teenager. And now photos have emerged of their amazing home life together.

When Griffith was a teenager, her actress mother, Tippi Hedren, and her stepfather, director Noel Marshall, decided they wanted to make a film about big cats after returning from a trip to Africa and seeing them in person. An animal trainer suggested they get to know them better by living with a lion, so they ended up taking Neil into their home.

And these are the amazing photos documenting their time together. This is a teenage Griffith hanging out with Neil in the family swimming pool in Sherman Oaks, California.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

And this is Neil grabbing and attempting to bite her leg as she jumps in the water.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

Her mother also bonded with the lion.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

But it wasn't just the pool Neil was allowed to spend time in, as these photos, which first appeared in Life magazine, show.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

Here's Griffith lying in bed with him in May 1971.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

And Hedren, who was famed for such Hitchcock movies as The Birds, using him as a cushion as she reads a newspaper.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

They even play-wrestled on the living-room rug.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

And also combined the two.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

They let Neil into the kitchen.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

Like so.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

As if it were the most normal thing in the world.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

And even Marshall's study wasn't safe.

The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

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The LIFE Picture Collection/Gett Michael Rougier

Hedren later started The Roar Foundation, a preserve in California where the lion could live, with the goal at educating on "the dangers of private ownership of exotic animals."

But the family's life with lions did hit a speed bump, when Griffith was hurt after her face was attacked by a lioness on the set of the movie Roar.

The whole family appeared in the film, which took 11 years to make, with Griffith playing the on-screen daughter.

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