Movie star Tippi Hedren has poured out her heart in a moving tribute to a mountain lion she cared for at her Shambala big cat sanctuary in California.
The Birds star gave Daisy a home for the last 19 years of her life after she was transported to Shambala from Hawaii. The creature died earlier this summer (10).
Hedren marks the passing in a letter on her website, writing, "I so want you to be running through the fields, climbing trees, patiently waiting to leap upon your prey, find your mate, having your cubs, and teaching them to live in the wild.
"All of us at Shambala who cared for you these past 19 years hope you will be living the life you should have had.
"Daisy, do you remember being born in captivity? Or were you born in the wild and orphaned because a hunter had killed your mother for a trophy? Do you remember a long journey by boat or flying over the ocean? You lived as a cub in that beautiful place called Hawaii. However, because it is illegal to own or import exotic felines in that state, you never received the immunizations that would keep you healthy.
"Any veterinarian would have had to turn you over to the authorities; your new owner did not want to take that chance.
The side effects of the cat fever you survived left you unable to control the muscle spasms in your little body. When you arrived at Shambala, (handler) Trudy and I discussed your condition often, trying to diagnose how to help you.
"Do you remember taking several steps and falling over to one side or the other, getting up and trying all over again?
"Daisy, you were one strong little lady. You never gave in to the debilitating physical problems life handed you... You are an inspiration of strength and at the same time an example of why wild animals should not be bred in captivity to be sold as pets. We will all miss you... You will always be one of my favorite neighbors."
It's the second major loss for Hedren this year (10) - the actress' beloved lion, Rowdy, was diagnosed with cancer and died in February (10).
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