Chimp and lion from Big Cat Habitat star in new DiCaprio film

  • 1

SARASOTA-- Two popular animals from Sarasota's Big Cat Habitat are starring in the new Martin Scorsese film, "The Wolf of Wall Street."

The movie, which hit theaters on Christmas Day, features Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill. The animals from Big Cat Habitat are a 4-year-old chimpanzee named, Chance and a 600 lb lion named, Handsome.

Chance got to star alongside DiCaprio in a couple of scenes, said his handler, Pam Rosaire.

"What a great guy Leo is to work with. He is as good as he is handsome. He is a pure and wonderful person. I loved him. Chance thinks he's great, and Chance really loved him. They built a relationship," said Rosaire.

Handsome the lion has a smaller role in the movie. The lion is a symbol of the company DiCaprio owns in the film.

"That's why they wanted a lion like this one," said Clayton Rosaire, Handsome's handler. "He is so impressive, beautiful and majestic. I think they chose the right animal."

Handsome was hauled up to New York in a massive trailer last spring during filming.

PETA is unhappy with DiCaprio for allowing scenes with a great ape. An online petition has been started by the organization, asking the actor to never handle a great ape in a film ever again.

If you'd like to see Chance and Handsome, Big Cat Habitat is open Wednesday-Sunday on Palmer Boulevard in Sarasota.