If A Lion, Tiger And Bear Get Along This Well, Can’t We All? See Inspirational Photos Of This Trio

Lions and tigers and bears — oh, my! — may live together in The Wizard of Oz, but in real life there is only one lion-tiger-bear trio living together in an enclosed space anywhere in the world. This is the story of Leo the lion, Shere Hkhan the Bengal tiger and Baloo the black bear. They have lived together at Noah’s Ark, a 250-acre Georgia sanctuary for neglected and abused animals since 2001.

Sadly, “neglected and abused” all-too-aptly describes the condition of these three beautiful and gentle animals when they were discovered, imprisoned in the basement of an Atlanta drug dealer, during a police raid. They were only cubs at the time and they were all in pretty bad shape.

All three suffered from multiple infections, malnutrition and parasites. But Baloo was suffering the most. The drug dealer put a harness around the bear cub’s neck, but never loosened it, even as Baloo grew bigger. When the police found him, the harness was digging so deeply into the bear cub’s flesh, that skin was actually growing around it. Once Noah’s Ark got ahold of him, Baloo required a complex surgical procedure to removed the harness.

When Baloo was in surgery, that was the only time since 2001 the three animals have not all been together. The lion and the tiger spent the whole time deeply worried about him, pacing and yowling until the bear returned.

The abuse they suffered in the early months of their lives bonded them together as brothers — closer than most brothers, actually. According to the folks at Noah’s Ark, the lion, tiger and bear rarely have so much as a disagreement.


The group is affectionately called “BLT” by the Noah’s Ark staff.

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Leo the lion never grew a proud lion’s mane because, unfortunately, he was “fixed” at a much too early age.

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No matter how long they’ve been together, they’re still best buds.

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When Shere Hkhan got to Noah’s Ark 13 years ago, he was in rough shape.

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Occasionally a little alone time is OK, especially in the bath.

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This is the only house anywhere where a lion, tiger and bear live together.

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Sometimes there’s not much to do but relax — and sniff each other.

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It costs Noah’s Ark $33,000 per month to care for and feed the 1,500 rescued animals living on the sanctuary. If you want to help out with the care and feeding of these three characters, or any of the animals — or you just want to see the animals for yourself, (Noah’s Ark never charges admission, but appreciates any help you can give) contact Noah’s Ark.

All Images: Noah’s Ark