While there are hundreds of stories of wild animals that were raised in captivity, the story of Fraiser is truly one of the books. Let’s find out what makes him different.
Fraiser is a 19-year-old sickly lion with a lolling tong. He was rescued from a Mexican circus in 1972. He was able to sire 33 cubs during his stay at the Lion Country Safari with six lionesses who were very protective of him.
Where Did Fraiser Come From?
While it is unclear where Fraiser came from before he ended up in the Mexican Circus, what we do know is that he was surrendered to the Lion Country Safari when he was aging, toothless, and quite ill. Fraiser became a significant attraction to the park in spite of his age. (Source: Los Angeles Times)
What Was So Special About Fraiser?
Fraiser was easily identified for his toothless grin and lolling tongue. But these quirky features were not the sole reason for his fame.
During his stay at the Lion Safari was able to father 33 cubs even in his fragile state. In fact, the six lionesses he had the cubs with were so protective of him that they would bring him food and even wait for him to finish eating.
All six lionesses were pregnant a couple of weeks later. And by 16 months, all 33 cubs were alive and well. He was known as the country’s reigning sex Simba.
Needless to say, this made Fraiser quite popular that his fans started forming clubs. And even if he couldn’t read, he received over 1,500 letters from his fans.
The Safari also started selling merchandise with his face emblazoned on it. It came to a point where an entire clan in Scotland adopted Fraiser as their mascot. (Source: Life)
What Happened to Fraiser?
Sadly, Fraiser the Lion passed away in 1972 due to pneumonia. He was buried at the Safari with his clan in Scotland, giving him a memorable sendoff with a traditional funeral with everyone in kilts and playing bagpipes.
After his passing, the attendance of the Safari substantially declined. By 1984, they closed down. But since the owner still had the lease for the space for another 13 years, he sublet the space to the Wild Rivers water part. (Source: The OC Register)
Fraiser, the Sensuous Lion
Fraiser’s fame didn’t stop with the safari’s merchandise. Shuster-Sandler, together with Fraiser Productions, made a whole film about the prolific lion. The film was based on the story made by Sandy Dvore, and it was directed by Pat Shields.
The film is a comedy about a zoology professor who was able to have a conversation with Fraiser about his sexual stamina. A billionaire was very interested in Fraiser’s potency. It was nothing out of the ordinary, just a funny show about a funny lion.
There is not much info on the budget or earnings of the film itself, but they did have a bunch of fans who enjoyed watching it. (Source: IMDB)