‘We Live With 220 Lions And Tigers’

‘We Live With 220 Lions And Tigers’


LAUREN DROPLA: These guys are our kids. We love them and we’d do anything for them. JEFF LOWE: This is Lisa Marie. She is our maybe 14 month old golden tabby tiger. COMM: A year ago, Jeff moved from his luxurious home in Colorado to a cabin in the grounds
of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. JEFF LOWE: I’ve managed Robbie Knievel for years. And I always wondered what that exhilaration
of flying through the air on a motorcycle, 60 feet in the air, felt like and I think
as close as I can get to it is being with these cats. It’s, you know, it’s almost
like a spiritual moment for me, when a big lion is licking your face, you know, and you
know you’re on that cusp of living and dying. MAN: Oh yeah, it’s lovely. COMM: Having managed a family of prolific stuntmen, he and his fiancée Lauren now look
after over 200 wild cats. JEFF LOWE: I ask myself every day, why I would give up the life that I had. I mean it was
a very comfortable life. And it’s not that I couldn’t go back to it, but I wasn’t
satisfied, you know. I had a beautiful house in Colorado, big swimming pool inside. But
I would sit there and stare, you know, at the yard keepers, the lawn keepers and miss
the interaction with the animals. COMM: Unlike most people, Jeff’s family has a history of taking care of big cats. JEFF LOWE: What can get you? What can I serve you? What can I serve you, pretty girl? It
started with my grandfather. He trained cats for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey
in the 40s. So my family’s always been in it. COMM: And having that experience, Jeff is well aware of the dangers these animals pose. JEFF LOWE: See when they’re this size and you’re raising them, you know, you just
don’t ever expect them to turn on you. JEFF LOWE: That’s a very rare liliger. There is only 20 of them in the world, they were
all born here. He has got a baby pretty face. LAUREN DROPLA: He has got a cute face.
JEFF LOWE: You’re so pretty. JEFF LOWE: It’s all about distraction with these guys. JEFF LOWE: But she is, she is kind of, Lisa is a biter. JEFF LOWE: They can get possessive like… JEFF LOWE: She just got my arm. JEFF LOWE: An accident, she just don’t care about them. She is getting too carried away.
LAUREN DROPLA: Yup. JEFF LOWE: Stop! You got to stop. LAUREN DROPLA: Just a scratch. JEFF LOWE: It’s nothing. You know what?
What hurts with these guys is the pressure. Their jaw strength is just tremendous. But
you know what? That’s what happens. If you’re afraid to get bit, then you shouldn’t have
lions or tigers. JEFF LOWE: People think we are nuts. Because we have lions and tigers but at least you
can tell when they are going to go bad. Ears go back, eyes dilate. These guys are just
always ready to attack. JEFF LOWE: Hi baby! Nope, nope, nope… stay down, stay down. Stay down! JEFF LOWE: I have been put in the hospital twice, you know, both times mountain lion
attacks, a total of 400 stitches. JEFF LOWE: Fingers bitten off and sewn back on, my ears ripped off and sewn back on. I
have had my hand bitten through all the way. Mostly small cats though, I have never been
injured by a lion or a tiger, other than just, you know, superficial wounds. JEFF LOWE: You are such a big boy. Yes, you’re a big boy. You are getting all dirty.
LAUREN DROPLA: I wish we had a hairbrush, we could brush his mane. JEFF LOWE: Get out now! INTERVIEWER: You alright? JEFF LOWE: I’m fine. See that, it’s more
adrenalin. You know when something happens when you’re in the cage, it’s, it’s
not about anything other than just getting out of that situation. JEFF LOWE: Jacks, what are you doing? I thought you loved me. Come here, come here. Come here! JEFF LOWE: That was pretty close, I mean, I didn’t think he was going to kill me.
But never do. You know, he was a bottle-raised baby and just today, he wasn’t
just in the mood to be played with. So, we try again tomorrow. JEFF LOWE: Let’s not let the guests see the blood. JEFF LOWE: We will get this cleaned up and we’ll go in a cage with 16 more.
LAUREN DROPLA: Let’s do it. JEFF LOWE: Hopefully they’ve eaten. JEFF LOWE: Joe and I are going to go in and just try to walk amongst the sixteen cats.
And we, you know, it’s a crisp day so we have to be a little bit rambunctious, so we’ll
see. You know, if you would’ve come two weeks ago when it was 100 degrees, you can
walk in and take a nap with them. But when the weather is crisp like this, it’s a little
more risky. JEFF LOWE: You know what, there is a certain amount of adrenalin that you, that you feel. JOE: It’s called a death wish. JEFF LOWE: Yeah!
JOE: You can’t be scared to die. That’s all there’s to it. If you have any fear, you’re screwed. JEFF LOWE: Hey guys! JOE: This is one of the good guys. This is one of the good guys. That one is sorry. JEFF LOWE: This one is sizing me up. Stop! Nope, nope, nope… JEFF LOWE: You know, it’s pretty awesome when you can wake up and step out your front
door and see lions and tigers. JEFF LOWE: I mean it’s, you wake up and you can look at apartment buildings or you
can look at the freeway, and we get to wake up and look at the cats that we love, so,
it’s awesome. JEFF LOWE: You know, this is one of the perks of being a tiger at my park. You get to ride
to the vet in a Ferrari. Right? You ready to go? JEFF LOWE: You ready to go?

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