Ireland’s Roar



He left Dublin with a wild streak and a killer smile.

After siring 24 offspring with multiple mothers.

But enough about Colin Farrell.

Sibling of Daedalus writes:

Apparently this date in 1927 was the date of birth, in Dublin Zoo, of Cairbre [Irish mythological name], later re-christened Leo and the first MGM lion to roar on the silver screen. The problem is, there were at least 5 MGM lions, all of whom were rechristened Leo. The most likely candidate is this one, photographed being filmed in the early 1930s. Hear him roar (or gently growl) in the MGM video (above).
Cairbre is recorded in the RDS records as having sired 24 cubs, before being put down in 1944 (some say, for attacking a cameraman).
Dublin Zoo was approached again in 1950 to supply 15 lions to kill Christians in the Easter perennial Quo Vadis (1951), starring Robert Taylor and Deborah Kerr. It refused.


Sibling of Daedalus

8 thoughts on “Ireland’s Roar

  1. Mr. T.

    Oh sure be gorrah and be jaysus, I wouldn’t be able for you.

    Wasn’t only our own little Leo who made it big in Merikay.

    Aren’t we great.

    1. B Bop

      Love this story.
      Was unaware though, the cameramen stood in such close proximity to said Dublin lion.
      Rarr indeeds.

      1. Chuckenstein

        I’d heard something similar before (probably through SoD) but had no idea the guys were so close during the shoot. Brave boyos.

    1. SDaedalus

      I don’t know where Myles is getting his information from, but I’m sourcing mine in the Proceedings of the Royal Dublin Society here… it says 1927.

      There does appear to have been another (non-Cairbre) Irish MGM lion called ‘Slats’. Maybe Myles and I are thinking of two different lions, and he got Slats and Cairbre’s birth dates mixed up? Or perhaps the RDS, heaven forbid, got it wrong? Only the Zoo can tell us….

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