Rockstar Photographers: Joseph Scherschel & Blondie The Lion

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Photographer Joseph Scherschel took these photos of Blondie the pet lion for Life Magazine in 1955. Blondie was indeed a family pet, belonging to Mr. Charles Hipp of Texas. Mr. Hipp bought the lion from the Dallas zoo in 1953 when she was a 12-week-old cub.

By the time the Life article appeared, Blondie was a familiar sight in Graham, Texas. She travelled in their station wagon, boated with the Hipp’s on Possum Kingdom Lake and even shared their bathtub.

Blondie never caused any problems for Mr. Hipp, but another of his pets sure did. A leopard named Randy mauled his then two-and-a-half-year-old grandson Charles “Bubba” Hipp at his grandfather’s house in Graham in 1962. The boy recovered, but still bears the scars of the attack. Devastated, Mr. Hipp sold off Randy and most of his other animals, but he just couldn’t get rid of Blondie. She died of old age in 1968, a beloved member of the family.

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