A lion, tiger, and bear were great friends for nearly 15 years, making for one of the cutest friendship trios you’ve ever seen. The unlikely buddies’ strong friendship was created after they went through a horrifying ordeal together at the start of their lives.
The story began in 2001 when the three cubs—a black bear named Baloo, a Bengal tiger named Shere Khan, and an African lion named Leo—were rescued from the basement of an Atlanta, Georgia, drug dealer. The three creatures were all in dire need of assistance.
The three cubs were in terrible pain after being severely mistreated. Leo had wounds on his face and was kept in a small cage when Shere Khan was discovered. Baloo was discovered wearing a leash that was so tight that it had sliced into his flesh and had to be surgically removed.
To discover wild animals living in such dire conditions was heartbreaking but fortunately they were rescued by Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove, Georgia. Noah’s Ark is a 250-acre sanctuary for abused, unwanted, and neglected animals. They are a non-profit organization dedicated to providing unconditional love, unconditional service, a future and a hope to animals. They have over 1,500 animals of 100 different species. It costs $33,000 a month just to feed them all
The cubs had been through so much by the time they got to the sanctuary that it was obvious they would never be able to be released back into the wild. The team swiftly came up with a strategy to let the three live out their days there in peace.
They received nourishment, medical care, and got to explore the grounds of their new home. They received lots of attention from the staff, who allowed the cubs to remain together to keep them calm and secure.
The cubs had a deep kinship from the start, and it was in their best interests to stick together. They played together, soothed one another, adapted to their new environment, and learnt how to appreciate their new home.
The staff had anticipated that as they matured, they would eventually outgrow one another and require separation, but that time never arrived. Before the first member of their trio, Leo, tragically departed away in 2016, they were together for fifteen years. In 2018, Shere Khan accompanied Leo to the bridge.
Baloo, who had never been separated from his friends except during his surgery to remove his harness, was comforted by the staff. They made sure he would not be lonely and lavished him with lots of attention. Despite the loss of his friends, it’s a comfort to know that the three were saved from terrible abuse and got to live out their remaining years together, in a safe and happy environment