In a heartwarming display of friendship, a lion, tiger, and bear formed an unbreakable bond that lasted for over 15 years. The three unlikely friends had faced a traumatic experience together in their early lives.
Their story started in 2001, when the cubs – an African lion named Leo, a Bengal tiger named Shere Khan, and a black bear named Baloo – were rescued from the basement of a drug dealer residing in Atlanta, Georgia. The animals were in a terrible condition and needed urgent care.
The three young animals had undergone terrible mistreatment and were in a state of great suffering. Baloo had a harness on him that was so tight that it had caused deep wounds in his skin, and he had to undergo surgery to remove it. Leo had cuts on his face and was confined to a small enclosure, while Shere Khan was severely underfed.
To come across wild animals in such terrible circumstances was devastating, but luckily they were saved by Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove, Georgia. Noah’s Ark is a non-profit organization that spans 250 acres and is home to abused, unwanted, and neglected animals. They are committed to providing animals with unconditional love, service, a future, and hope. They have more than 1,500 animals from 100 different species, and it costs $33,000 each month to feed them all.
When the young animals were brought to the sanctuary, it was evident that they had experienced so much trauma that they were no longer fit for the wild. The team at the sanctuary soon devised a plan to enable the trio to live out their days there in a peaceful environment.
The cubs were given proper nourishment, medical care, and an opportunity to roam the sanctuary grounds. The staff provided them with ample attention and ensured that the three remained together to provide them with a sense of security and peace.
It was evident right away that the cubs had a close bond and that it was in their best interest to stay together. They supported and played with each other, adjusted to their new surroundings, and discovered how to appreciate their new home.
As they matured, the staff anticipated that one day they would become too big for one another and would have to be separated, but that day never came. They spent over fifteen years together until the first of their trio, Leo, passed away in 2016. Shere Khan then followed Leo in 2018.
Baloo, who had always been with his friends except during his harness removal surgery, was looked after by the staff. They ensured that he would not be alone and showered him with a lot of attention. Even though his friends were gone, it is reassuring to know that the three were rescued from terrible abuse and were able to spend their remaining years together in a secure and happy environment.