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Lion, Tiger, and Bear Have Been Best Friends For 15 Years

July 17th, 2018

When you hear ‘lion, tigers, and bears’ the first thing you probably think of is the famous quote from “Wizard of Oz.” You wouldn’t expect to find a lion, tiger, and bear actually hanging out together in real life. But it turns out, there is one place where you’ll find a lion, tiger, and bear: Noah’s Ark Sanctuary in Georgia.

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Noah's Ark Source: Noah's Ark

Noah’s Ark Sanctuary is home to Baloo the bear, Shere Khan the tiger, and Leo the lion. These three predators have been best friends since they were tiny cubs.

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Noah's Ark Source: Noah's Ark

In 2001, Rescuers found the three cubs trapped in the basement of an Atlanta home during a drug raid. Sadly, all three cubs were neglected and abused. They were all hungry and scared, and Leo and Shere Khan both had open wounds on their noses.

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Noah's Ark Source: Noah's Ark

Baloo was in the worst condition of the three—he was trapped in an ingrown harness. The harness was so tight, his flesh had begun to grow around it.

Rescuers brought the three scared animals to Noah’s Ark Sanctuary, where they rushed Baloo into surgery.

While Baloo was gone, Leo and Shere Khan paced around restlessly, worrying about their friend. Thankfully, the surgery went well, and soon, Baloo was back with his two best friends!

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Noah's Ark Source: Noah's Ark

At first, the workers at Noah’s Ark Sanctuary separated the three animals, thinking they would do best in their own enclosures. But the animals wouldn’t stop crying, and so the workers quickly put them back into the same enclosure. They’ve been together ever since!

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Noah's Ark Source: Noah's Ark

As the three animals grew up, their bond stayed strong.

The animals wouldn’t have been able to survive in the wild, but the sanctuary gave them the next best thing: plenty of space to roam around, and lots of love and attention. Noah’s Ark Sanctuary also gave the three animals a clubhouse to sleep in. At night, the animals pile on top of each other, keeping each other warm and safe.

“They just know each other and they love each other,” said Jama Hedgecoth, the founder of Noah’s Ark. “They’re truly a family. They’ve never been separated.”

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Noah's Ark Source: Noah's Ark

Unfortunately, in 2016, Leo died from liver cancer. Shere Khan and Baloo were both devastated by their loss. Workers from Noah’s Ark buried Leo by the trio’s clubhouse so he would always be close to his best friends.

Shere Khan and Baloo comforted each other after losing Leo, and they’ve remained close.

The two of them still spend their days cuddling and playing together, and they love nothing more than taking naps together in their clubhouse.

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Noah's Ark Source: Noah's Ark

Shere Khan, Baloo, and Leo have gone through some difficult times, but they’ve always had each other’s backs. If you’d like to learn more about these three incredible animals, check out the video below!

Tiger, Lion & Bear Are Best Friends | Wild Things

A rare brotherhood you wouldn't find in the wild…

Posted by Wild Things on Monday, December 4, 2017

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h/t: Happiest

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