Rangers and animal handlers at actress Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve big cat sanctuary in Acton, California have been told to consider evacuating the property as wildfires creep ever closer.
But staff at the wildlife mecca have chosen to stay and fight the blaze rather than try to relocate the 64 lions, tigers, leopards and other exotic animals, including two tigers Michael Jackson once owned, that live there.
Vice president of operations at Shambala Chris Gallucci says, "We have everything to fight fires on this property. Our plan is to hold in place. We have done this for 40 years. We are very good at what we do."
According to Gallucci, the preserve has dozens of evacuation crates on standby just in case the big cats really need to be moved.
The area around the preserve is under a mandatory evacuation order, according to the Los Angeles Times as the Mount Wilson fire, which is only five per cent contained, threatens thousands of properties.
The news of the wildfire threat comes just a week after Hedren's daughter, actress Melanie Griffith, entered rehab in Utah for a "undisclosed issues."
Meanwhile, animals trained for movies like Dr. Dolittle 2 and {Mowgli: The New Adventures of The Jungle Book escaped a fiery death over the weekend when trainer Scott Handley evacuated his sanctuary near to Hedren's in Acton as wildfires blazed through the area.
Handley's wilderness area, where bears and big cats roamed free, was left charred by the flames, which started last week (ends28Aug09) - but the animal expert's home was saved by firefighters.
A source says, "No animals were harmed - they were all safely relocated before the fire arrived on the property."