July 31, 2014 10:52am PT by Scott Feinberg
Crystal Hefner Leads a Tour of the Playboy Mansion's Zoo (Video)
Everyone knows that Holmby Hills' famed Playboy Mansion hosts Bunnies … but did you know that it also houses bunnies — as well as monkeys, cockatoos, peacocks, African cranes, parrots, toucans, pelicans, doves and all sorts of other animals?
They all reside in the backyard "zoo" area — the Mansion is one of America's few private residences with a zoo license — which Crystal Hefner, Hugh Hefner's stunning 28-year-old wife of 19 months, was gracious enough to show to The Hollywood Reporter last week. (See the video at the top of this post.)
"When I first came [to the Mansion] six years ago, I didn't know that there were animals here," she recalls. But her husband, whom she calls "Hef," told her that he had always been a big animal lover and that "the first thing he did when he bought the property [in 1971 for $1.1 million] was add the animals and the zoo and just make it a great environment for them," adding hilly areas and ponds to the otherwise flat land. "It's like an oasis here," she says. "We live in paradise."
Hefner gushes that the zoo, which is located just yards from the famous pool and "grotto" that have seen many a raucous party, is "filled with many cute and fun animals," a considerable portion of which "were donated by people who couldn't take care of them."
While she and Hef enjoy spending time — and even taking selfies — with the zoo's residents, she credits the team of men and women who comprise the Mansion's Animals Department ("Ish, Jennifer, Leah, Crystal — another Crystal — and Keleigh") for making their lives so happy. She emphasizes, "They are the moms and dads of all of these animals, and the animals really love them."