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This lion defied the laws of nature—and became an icon | L.A.‘s Lion King || Wild Lives Ep. 1

LION. KING. How a 19 year old lion fathered 35 cubs… in a year and a half. This is the wild story of a lion named Frasier—Frasier the Sensuous Lion—who became a science wonder the world over in 1972. After all, how many lions have movies and songs made about them because of never before…

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LION. KING. How a 19 year old lion fathered 35 cubs… in a year and a half. This is the wild story of a lion named Frasier—Frasier the Sensuous Lion—who became a science wonder the world over in 1972. After all, how many lions have movies and songs made about them because of never before seen animal behavior?

You see, Frasier defied what was previously known about lion breeding habits—any animal’s really. Did you say 35 cubs? In just 18 months? And, wait, how old?

Also, in this video: learn a math equation about how just one lion can take over Los Angeles and find out how zoos manage breeding programs today with their menagerie of creatures great and small.

► WATCH! every single episode of WILD LIVES here:

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In their own words. Well, approximately their own words—they are wild animals after all.

CREDITS
Video by: Tom McNamara
Animation: Beth Wexler
Narrator: Dave Pettitt
Group Digital Director: Amy Schellenbaum
Editor-in-Chief: Corinne Iozzio

Media
8mm home video of Lion Country Safari (Scott Stodard), “Frasier the Lovable Lion” (Frasier Productions, Inc., Sandler Films, Inc., Four Star International, Inc.), “Frasier (The Sensuous Lion)” (Sarah Vaughn and The Jimmy Rowles Quintet; 1974 Mainstream Records), Getty, “Here Comes the Circus” (1942), “I Love A Parade” (Looney Tunes, 1932), LIFE Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Archives, Prelinger Archive, Pixabay, “Who’s Who In The Zoo” (Federal Writers Project, 1937)

Music
APM, Vik Sharma

Thank You
Mary Ellen Amodeo, AZA Reproductive Management Center, Katie Belloff, Jess Boddy, Erin Chapman, Digitize NY, Sonia Epstein, Meg Lampert, Jason Lederman, Lion Center at the University of Minnesota, Lion Country Safari (Palm Beach County, Florida), Steve Oftelie, Dr. Craig Packer, Dr. David Powell, Pat, Donna and Todd Quinn, Saint Louis Zoo, Russ Smith, Scott Stodard, Species360, Zoological Association Of America

#popularscience #FrasiertheSensuousLion #animalbehavior #popsci #science #zoo #zoos #lion #lions #mammal #pantheraleo #Frasier #curious #wildlives #wildlife #sarahvaughan #animal #animals #lionvideo #animalvideo #education #learning #edu #educational #biology #naturalhistory

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– [Narrator] This is Frasier the Lion.

You can tell it’s him because his tongue

is hangin’ out.

See (laughing).

There it is.

Also, because he’s about to mate.

(upbeat instrumental music)

Have you ever wondered
about the number of lions

at your zoo?

You probably don’t think

about lion reproduction too much, do ya?

Well, consider this.

If one female lion in
captivity has a litter of cubs,

and they all survive and breed –

for reference, zoo
lions can start breeding

before their third birthday –

and then those offspring
all survive and breed,

and then the next generation the same,

and so on,

it’d take about 37 years
until that one family tree

of descendants, from that one lioness,

needed to eat the entire population

of Los Angeles everyday (roaring)

just to survive.

That is why zoos in the United
States (elephant trumpeting)

so often administer birth
control to their animals.

Chimps take the pill,

same one humans use.

Giraffes get hormones in their food

while lions, who would otherwise
take over L.A. (roaring)

have slow release hormone implants.

Or, it’s as simple as
keeping males and females

of the species (roaring) separate.

Populations are kept in check.

Breeding, when it happens,

is controlled.

Pairs are matched based
on their genetic makeup

which sometimes, means a
sort of mail order mate.

There could be a rhinoceros

flying overhead right now
(helicopter chuffing),

on her way to see if some
male rhino measures up.

Isn’t there something kind
of wonderful about that?

But there was a time before
all this population regulation.

Let me tell you a story about a lion

that actually did take over Los Angeles.

His name is Frasier.

Remember the lion with
the hanged-dog tongue?

Frasier the Sensuous Lion.

(mysterious music)

– [Film Narrator] And now,
Clyde Beatty (growling),

the most fearless man in all the world.

Alone in a cage with a herd
of man-eating African lions.

– [Narrator] Frasier was
a circus lion for years,

until 1970 when the Mexican
circus that owned him,

went out of business.

Here was Frasier, age 19.

Old for a lion, circus, or otherwise.

By all accounts, done for.

Set to be put down.

Toothless, 100 pounds underweight,

his tongue always out because
the muscles that held it

gave way.

Poor Frasier.

But, it wasn’t the end
for the old Panthera Leo.

Somehow, he wound up in
a shipment of big cats,

bought on consignment from the cirus,

and bound for Lion Country Safari:

a drive-thru animal preserve
in Laguna Hills, California,

just south of L.A (twinkling music).

The events from here on,

unfolded in a thoroughly unexpected way.

– [Pat] I was on NBC
because of the old guy.

Wasn’t it Frasier the Lion?

Frasier the Lion was mating a female

during that time (laughing),

as old as he was.

But anyway–

– [Narrator] That is Pat Quinn.

The former wildlife
director at Lion Country.

In 1972, Pat was on T.V.

because, in less than a year
and a half at the safari,

Frasier fathered 31 cubs
with 6 lionesses (plopping).

One of those lionesses was named Linda.

In the wild (elephant
trumpeting), a lion lives 10,

maybe 15 years.

In captivity, 30 is possible.

As for Frasier’s 19 years,

picture grandpa having 30 plus toddlers.

Frasier, to say the least,

was prolific.

As the LA Times reported
at the time, quote,

“It takes an ordinary male lion 18 months

to father maybe only 12 cubs.

Frasier had more than double that rate.”

Pat’s wife, Donna,

also remembers Frasier.

– [Donna] I just know
that they made a movie

about him – it bombed (laughing).

I don’t think it did well.

You know, he was famous
for frequent copulation

but that’s normal with lions.

No reason why a 20-year-old lion,

if it’s horny, doesn’t
mate often (laughing).

– [Narrator] The movie,
“Frasier the Sensuous Lion,”

was later renamed,
“Frasier the Lovable Lion.”

A talking animal movie in which Frasier

instructs a virgin scientist
how to seduce women.

– Good morning, Frasier.

– Quite a female you have there, Norman.

Looks ripe.

– She works here in public relations.

– I think she really likes you.

– Oh Frasier, really.

– [Frasier] Oh no, I can tell.

Has she licked your ear yet?

– Frasier.

– Well, that’s the way
my females let me know

when they’re ready for a jungle joy.

– [Narrator] Like Mrs. Quinn said,

“It bombed.”

(splashing)

He was a lion celebrity.

A photo spread in LIFE Magazine,

a ballad by Oscar-winning
songwriter, Johnny Mercer,

and a recording of that
song by jazz legend,

Sarah Vaughan.

Here, I’ll play it for ya.

♪ “Oh, cruel is fate ♪

♪ But it’s never too late,” said Frasier ♪

♪ “Announce the feast ♪

♪ I’m the King of the
Beast,” yawned Frasier ♪

♪ “But king or not, I am
certainly hot,” said Frasier ♪

♪ And when you are hot
and hittin’ the spot ♪

♪ The action will amaze ya ♪

– [Narrator] Also, fan mail came at a rate

of 1500 letters a month.

Many from old men inquiring

about the lion’s diet.

– [Todd] If I recollect,

I know they were trying to
introduce some younger males

to a group of females

but the problem with that

is they would end up fighting,

and someone’s going to die.

– The Quinn’s son, Todd,

also worked for Lion Country Safari.

What he said confirms a
lyric in the “Frasier” song.

♪ Younger studs brought in for breeding ♪

♪ Wound up beaten, bruised, and bleeding ♪

♪ Every dawn the same
thing kept occurring ♪

– [Narrator] According to LIFE Magazine,

the safari was trying
to have their lionesses

start a family.

Quote, “Attempts to introduce
strapping young males

to the group failed.”

As a joke, someone suggested Frasier.

The next day,

Frasier was on his back,
surrounded by lionesses.

The females even brought
him food and stood guard.

He was pride king,

seemingly defying Darwin’s theories

on survival of the fittest.

The LA Times reported, “Wife after wife,

turned up pregnant.”

– [Packer] I mean, having your
tongue hanging out like that

cannot be a sign of good genetic health.

– [Narrator] That’s Dr. Craig Packer,

professor and head of the lion center

at the University of Minnesota.

He has a theory on Frasier’s sex appeal.

– [Packer] So, lions, like a
lot of other animal species,

have a sort of innate incest to boot.

If those young males (roaring)

were in anyway genetically
related to the females

in that colony (roaring),

then there would’ve been
very little sexual interest.

So, if animals grow up together,

they make the assumption
that they’re siblings,

and they’re just not turned on.

– [Narrator] Just to interrupt,

Todd Quinn recalled how
Frasier was the only newcomer,

that the rest were raised
together since they were cubs.

– [Packer] In this case,

if a stranger comes to town (roaring),

that can really excite all the ladies,

that’s what I guess happened

because he certainly

was no impressive (roaring)
physical specimen.

Frasier who is 19-years-old,

you would think he would
not present as a good bet

for surviving the next two years.

– [Narrator] He didn’t.

(depressing music)

In the end, Frasier died.

On July 13th, 1972.

Two months after LIFE Magazine

published his photo spread.

An old circus lion turned sex symbol.

In under two years,

he had 35 cubs in total,

with seven lionesses.

Also, a movie and a song.

The LA Times published an
account of Frasier’s autopsy,

which reads like a search
for the fountain of youth.

15 scientists performed the postmortem.

He had, quote, “Beautiful organs.

His prostate, kidneys, liver, heart,

and cardiovascular system

were perfectly healthy.”

“Externally,” they wrote,

“Frasier wasn’t much to look at.

But internally, well,
he was just remarkable.”

(cheering in background)

The team even took tissue
samples for further study.

The official cause of death was pneumonia.

Though, one doctor doctor
offered another cause,

“I feel he loved himself to death.”

(upbeat jazz music)

Also, subscribe to Popular Science

on YouTube for more “Wild Lives” episodes.

Next up, Alfred Hitchcock’s classic,

“The Birds,”

isn’t entirely fiction.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Coolguy 111163

    August 27, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    get it on Fraiser

  2. Stylo

    August 27, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    get it on Fraiser

  3. Stylo_games

    August 27, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    get it on Fraiser

  4. Erin Chapman

    August 27, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    The world’s most interesting lion.

  5. Rip Tide

    August 27, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    How’d the cubs do ?

  6. Ant Lab

    August 28, 2020 at 12:26 am

    I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS VIDEO!

  7. Zaheer Nooruddin

    August 28, 2020 at 1:27 am

    Superbly made story. Long live Frasier!

  8. Nelson Swanberg

    August 28, 2020 at 3:36 am

    Frazier was reincarnated as a foam frog.

  9. Ken Creten

    August 28, 2020 at 7:40 am

    I did it.

  10. Crash Like This

    August 28, 2020 at 7:40 am

    I did it.

  11. Michael Eppelheimer

    August 28, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    “When you are hot, and hittin’ the spot, the action will amaze you.”

  12. gary heiden

    August 29, 2020 at 7:02 am

    he went out on top.

  13. DOO-WHOP

    August 29, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    You learn something new everyday good video

  14. Harry Johnson

    August 29, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Frasier had all this stored inside him what a true KING.🦁

  15. Robert Mudry

    August 30, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    Hey I got paid $15 as an extra in that “atrocious film. ” They filmed it at the college I attended. I’m in the opening shot walking across the screen with my young GF, Judy.

  16. C.M. Knox

    August 30, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Takes me back to when I was working for Doc Schuster & Lion Country Safari ! May Frasier never be forgotten !

  17. fukatrum ume

    August 31, 2020 at 5:39 am

    OMG, it’s weirdly informative & entertaining.

  18. Linda Doggett

    September 1, 2020 at 11:32 pm

    Seems that the only female cub the video named was Linda. I agree that was a fine choice.

  19. Nice Videos

    September 11, 2020 at 8:25 am

  20. Shahin Zangenehpour

    September 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    At the end, he loved himself to death… 🤣😂😅

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Popular Science

What happens to your body when you die in space?

NASA isn’t sure what to do with corpses in space, but they may need to figure it out soon. Of the more than 550 people we’ve sent into the cosmos, just 21 have died—and only 3 actually above the boundary between Earth and space—since humankind first took to strapping ourselves to rockets. When there have…

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NASA isn’t sure what to do with corpses in space, but they may need to figure it out soon.

Of the more than 550 people we’ve sent into the cosmos, just 21 have died—and only 3 actually above the boundary between Earth and space—since humankind first took to strapping ourselves to rockets. When there have been fatalities, the entire crew has been lost, leaving no one to rescue. But as we move closer to a human mission to Mars, there’s a higher likelihood that individuals could be stranded or even perish—whether that’s on the way, while living in harsh environments, or at some other point of the mission.

**Correction: April 15, 2021
The video misstates the distance from Earth to the Moon. It is 250,000 miles, not 250 miles.**

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► 24 OF THE MOST FAMOUS SPACE LAUNCHES EVER

► THE MOLE CHANGED. And now new discoveries throughout space and time are possible

► FIND OUT MORE about this episode by reading the article

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About Ask Us Anything
Popular Science answers your most outlandish, mind-burning questions—from what the universe is made of to why not everyone can touch their toes.

Media
Assignment: Outer Space (1960), Canadian Space Agency, Destination Earth (1956), European Space Agency, Galaxy Science Fiction, NASA/JPL, Prelinger Archives, Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, U.S. National Archives

Music
APM

#AskUsAnything #whathappenstoyourbodyifyoudieinspace #PopularScience #space #PopSci #science #space #spacex #nasa #nasaperseverance #nasaspaceflight #spacehistory #spacevideos #whathappenstoyourbodyifyoudieinspace #whathappenstoyourbodywhenyoudie #askusanything #astronaut #spacewalk #apollo11 #moonlanding #apollo11launch #elonmusk #cosmos #vintagespace #spacearchive #mars #marsroverlanding #marsrover #curiosityrover #perseverancerover #spacetravel #deepspace #shuttlelaunch #buzzaldrin #neilarmstrong #chrishadfield

– [Narrator] On July 21st, 1969,

the Apollo 11 lunar landing crew.

– That’s one small step for man.

– [Narrator] Was due to
depart the moon’s surface

after a 22 hour visit.

– One giant leap for mankind.

– [Narrator] A speech had been prepared

for President Richard Nixon titled,

“In the Event of Moon Disaster,”

it read, “Fate has ordained that the men

who went to the moon to explore in peace

will stay on the moon to rest peace”

Said another way, marooned, stranded

because landing on the moon was one thing,

(gentle music)

getting off was something else entirely.

Would Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong

live out the rest of their days

staring at the blue glow of
Earth from 250,000 miles away?

And what if they did?

(gentle music)

Of the more than 550 people
we’ve sent into the cosmos,

just 21 have died

and only 3 actually above the boundary

between Earth and space

since humankind first took

to strapping ourselves to rockets.

When there have been fatalities,

the entire crew has been lost,

leaving no one to rescue.

But as we move closer to
a human mission to Mars,

there’s a higher likelihood

that individuals could be
stranded or even perish

whether that’s on the way,

while living in harsh environments,

or at some other point of the mission.

The International Space Station

is one place to look to as a model.

A death among that crew

would likely result from an
accident during a spacewalk.

Maybe suddenly you get
hit by a micrometeorite,

then there’s a hole in your suit.

Well, this hypothetical astronaut

would only have about 15 seconds

until they lost consciousness.

Before they froze, they
would most likely die

from asphyxiation or decompression.

10 seconds of exposure
to the vacuum of space

would force the water in their
skin and blood to vaporize,

while their body expanded
outward like a balloon.

Their lungs would collapse,

and after 30 seconds
they would be paralyzed

if they weren’t already dead.

A corpse in space presents
some major logistical problems.

The fact that a dead body is a biohazard

is definitely the biggest concern,

and finding the space to
store it in is a close second.

The crew of the ISS already stores trash

in the coldest spot on the station;

it keeps the bacteria away and
makes smell less of an issue.

For this reason, a dead astronaut
would likely be held here

or an airlock until a seat was available

on a return trip to Earth.

What if you’re millions
of miles from anywhere,

en route to Mars,

and storage of a deceased
astronaut isn’t an option?

In theory, you could
always jettison them out

on a forever path into the void, right?

One problem of physics though,

unless a mini rocket was
strapped to the body,

they would end up following the trajectory

of the spacecraft.

As the years went on and
the bodies accumulated,

that would make for a morbid trip.

But the risks of dying along the way

are nothing compared to
dying once you get there.

In promoting his own future
space settlement plans,

SpaceX’s Elon Musk has
openly cautioned that, quote,

“If you want to go to
Mars, prepare to die.”

Which begs the question,

if lives are lost on the Red Planet,

where do you put the bodies?

Could they just be buried there?

That makes sense because
of the long journey back,

but it poses potential
contamination problems.

Even the Mars rovers are required by law

not to bring Earth microbes
to their new planet.

Spacecraft are repeatedly
cleaned and sanitized

before launch to help prevent
potentially habitable locales

from being overtaken by
intrepid microorganisms.

But the bugs on a rover are nothing

compared to the bacteria
hitching a ride on a dead body.

So, if a Martian burial were to happen,

it would have to require cremation.

(gentle music)

NASA never officially
published a contingency plan

for the Apollo moon-walkers in 1969,

but they were prepared to lose the crew.

If things went sideways,

they planned to shut down communication

with the stranded astronauts

and issue them a formal burial at sea.

In reality, starvation
or, unfortunately, suicide

would have been the cause of death.

But even given that morbid
hypothetical turn of events,

everyone knew we would keep trying.

Quote, “Others will follow, and
surely find their way home.”

Nixon’s back-up speech read.

“Man’s search will not be denied.

But these men were the first,

and they will remain the
foremost in our hearts.”

As for future Mars missions,

climbing Mount Everest provides
the perfect Earthly analogy,

more than 200 bodies
lay across the mountain,

some of them still visible on
days when snow cover is light.

Everyone who climbs past is reminded

that they’re risking their lives.

Indeed, going to Mars is a risk.

But, that’s part of exploring space.

(gentle music)

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Popular Science

What Makes an ‘Ultra High Performance’ Tire? These 3 Things

What makes an ‘Ultra High Performance’ tire? Popular Science finds out by testing Continental’s new ExtremeContact DWS06 Plus. Video presented by Continental. ► LEARN MORE about how tires work in winter: ► SUBSCRIBE! to Popular Science on YouTube: #Continental #ExtremeContactDWS06Plus #highperformance #science #engineering #tire #ContinentalTire #howtireswork #cars #trucks #suv #gripperformance #trackingstability #traction #breaking #howtireswork #howstuffworks…

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What makes an ‘Ultra High Performance’ tire? Popular Science finds out by testing Continental’s new ExtremeContact DWS06 Plus.

Video presented by Continental.

► LEARN MORE about how tires work in winter:

► SUBSCRIBE! to Popular Science on YouTube:

#Continental #ExtremeContactDWS06Plus #highperformance #science #engineering #tire #ContinentalTire #howtireswork #cars #trucks #suv #gripperformance #trackingstability #traction #breaking #howtireswork #howstuffworks #Sponsored #ContinentalTire #wetroad #newtire #gripperformance #trackingstability #traction #breaking #steering #ultrahighperformance #allseasontires #optimumgrip #sportplustechnology #xsipes #forcevectoring #brakingdistance #tirerubber #performance #tiretechnology

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Popular Science

Get a grip: the science of how tires work in winter

What keeps the tire’s rubber on the road when the weather becomes most foul, the temperature drops, and rain turns to sleet and then snow? A good winter tire requires these three things. Video presented by Continental. ► LEARN MORE about how tires work in winter: ► SUBSCRIBE! to Popular Science on YouTube: #Continental #VikingContact7…

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What keeps the tire’s rubber on the road when the weather becomes most foul, the temperature drops, and rain turns to sleet and then snow? A good winter tire requires these three things.

Video presented by Continental.

► LEARN MORE about how tires work in winter:

► SUBSCRIBE! to Popular Science on YouTube:

#Continental #VikingContact7 #wintertire #science #engineering #tire #ContinentalTire #howtireswork #cars #trucks #suv #gripperformance #trackingstability #traction #breaking

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