Remembering an unlikely Lothario: Frasier the Sensuous Lion captivated 1970s America
At a now-defunct animal preserve in Laguna Hills, a lion named Frasier became a star when word spread of his virility. After spending most of his life in a circus, lazy, tongue-lolling Frasier went on to father about 35 cubs. "In a time of disenchantment over the Vietnam War, [he] was a pleasant distraction -- he wanted only to make love," columnist Steve Harvey writes of the legendary beast. Harvey has the details on Frasier's life and loves in his most recent column; here's an excerpt:
He "hobbled about on weakened legs, his once-lustrous coat was scruffy and his tongue sagged from a toothless mouth," The Times reported.
When Lion Country bought him from a bankrupt Mexican circus in 1970, he was believed to be 18, equivalent to about 80 human years.
Lion Country, then one of a chain of drive-through animal preserves, put the underweight cat on a special diet, and he gained 100 pounds.
Around the same time, the park was having trouble finding a suitable male companion "for a pride of half a dozen healthy females," The Times said.
The lionesses had previously been introduced to five strong young males but "rejected each one, often using physical violence."
So, as "a sort of joke," Frasier was allowed to make their acquaintance.
By "the very next morning," The Times' Gordon Grant reported with admirable restraint, "it was obvious that Frasier had the situation in hand.
"His wives were content."
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Photo: Frasier in 1972. Credit: Associated Press