A lion, a tiger and a bear have lived together for the past 15 years at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, an animal shelter in Locust Grove, Georgia.
This story is particularly unusual, because the natural habits of these three animals are entirely different, reports The Dodo.
They were rescued in 2001 from the basement of an Atlanta home during a drug raid, according to the Daily Mail. They were all less than 1 year old when the police found them.
Baloo, the American black bear was in bad condition with a harness that appeared to be grown into his flesh. He was given the harness as a cub, but it was never adjusted as he grew.
Leo, the African lion, was found in a cage that was too small for him with an infected wound on his nose. The three animals were malnourished and they all had internal and external parasites as a result of the poor conditions they lived in, reports The Dodo.
After being rescued, they were separated for a period of time, as Baloo underwent surgery to treat the wounds from the harness. According to the NAAS, the lion and Shere Khan the tiger were distressed during this time of separation. It was the first time they had ever been apart.
Allison Hedgecoth, NAAS curator, says they find great comfort in living with each other and their relationship has not changed, since moving to a new environment.
“All three are still equally affectionate with one another," Hedgecoth told The Dodo.
"Shere Khan has always been mischievous, and even though he is getting older this hasn't changed him one bit," she said.
Representatives from NAAS believe the animals are too weak and cannot be rehabilitated and sent back into the wild. Instead, they will spend the remainder of their lives together in the sanctuary.