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Lion, Tiger, and Bear Share Lifelong Bond

Lion, Tiger, and Bear Share Lifelong Bond

They were together even as tiny cubs, found in Atlanta, Ga., during a police raid on the home of a drug baron. So perhaps that strange beginning helped forge this unusual friendship between Leo, Shere Khan and Baloo — a lion, a tiger and a bear.

Now, the trio lives together in their own purpose-built habitat at Noah’s Ark rescue center in Locust Grove, Ga., where they even have a creek to swim in.

They moved into the roughly $24,000 home after living with the zoo’s founders for eight years.

“To our knowledge, this is the only place where you’ll find this combination of animals together, they are our BLT, (bear, lion and tiger),” said Diane Smith, assistant director of the zoo at Noah’s Ark.

Visitors can watch the 1,000-pound bear, 350-pound lion and 350-pound tiger play together in the grass, or lounge on their porch.

Jama Hedgecloth, cofounder of the zoo, says the animals are “oblivious” to the fact that they wouldn’t be friends in nature. They share a bond that Hedgecloth and her husband Charles recognized early on.

“It is wonderful and magical to see a giant American black bear put his arm around a Bengal tiger and then to see the tiger nuzzle up to the bear like a domestic cat. When Leo wakes up, the three of them mess around for most of the day before they settle down to some food.”

“Noah’s Ark is their home and they could not possibly be separated from each other.”

More from MNN.com:

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Endemic species: Top 9 lonely animals.

Lazarus species: 13 extinct animals found alive.


Read more: Behavior & Communication, Community, Do Good, Life, Pets

By Stephanie Rogers, MNN.com

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426 comments

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9:52AM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

If these three natural enemies can get along why can't we?!? Maybe we should take children from every country and every political group and let them grow-up & share their lives together.
Maybe, just maybe, they could learn to get along as well as the "BLT" team!

9:05AM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

Good they have long life friends but so sd they were taken out form their real homes and never will be able to be back to be free. Greedy people never will understand animals are not posessions.

12:32AM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

Excellent article.

1:32PM PDT on Oct 12, 2012

This is such an amazing story. I'm so surprised that their natural instinct didn't kick in for them to realize that they were all enemies. It's so wonderful to see this. Just like back in the real Noah's Ark day. Love this story!

5:29AM PDT on Oct 12, 2012

Wow, now that's amazing.

8:38AM PDT on Oct 4, 2011

they're so cute.. i wish there were videos!

6:29PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

Thanks for the article.

9:58PM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

thanks

12:53PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

Great story!Great they can stay tether in Noah`s Ark!

12:52PM PDT on Aug 12, 2011

A great story,so happy they are together in Noah `Ark!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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