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Lion, Tiger and Bear Have Unusual Bond in Animal Sanctuary

An unlikely friendship has been formed at Noah’s Ark Sanctuary in Locust Grove, Ga., that has made people around the world smile.

"It’s a lion, a tiger and a bear — oh my!” said Allison Hedgecoth of Noah’s Ark. “They live together and they don’t see their differences. They don’t see their color differences.”

Baloo the bear, Shere Kahn the tiger, and Leo the lion, known as BLT, were brought together at the sanctuary as 2-month-old abused cubs in 2001. Twelve years later, the three have formed an unbreakable bond.

“All of them had issues,” said Hedgecoth to ABC News. “Leo, the lion, had a big raw spot on his nose. Baloo, the bear, had an ingrown harness where his owners hadn’t lengthened it as he grew, so it actually grew into the skin and it had to be surgically removed. They have recovered more than 100 percent. I think that the ordeal they went through as youngsters really bonded them together. That’s all that they had. They only had each other for comfort.”

The bond between the three animals is unusual because, in any normal situation, the three would never get along.

“It is possible to see Baloo, who is a 1000 lb. bear, Shere Khan, a 350 lb. tiger and Leo, who is also 350 lbs., messing around like brothers,” said Noah’s Ark assistant director Diane Smith. “They are totally oblivious to the fact that in any other circumstance they would not be friends.”

The public can go to Noah’s Ark and witness the three animals living together for themselves. The animal sanctuary is free to the public and they don’t receive government finances, so it is run completely by donations.


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