No need to be afraid of these wild animals, Dorothy: This lion, tiger and bear are best pals! An unusual trio, sure, but these three literally cannot live without each other.
They were rescued from the basement of a home in Atlanta, Georgia, during a 2001 drug raid and turned into Noah’s Ark, a nonprofit animal sanctuary just south of the city, according to My Modern Met. As the staff at Noah’s Ark nursed the injured and malnourished cubs back to health, they decided to separate them.
“Three apex predators aren’t supposed to live together,” Kandi Allen, social media director at Noah’s Ark, tells HLN.
But upon separation, all three animals became lethargic, sad and couldn’t eat, Allen says. So they put them back into the same enclosure and they’ve been inseparable ever since.
They now live in a 2.5-acre enclosure with a natural waterway running through it, where they sleep, eat and even cuddle together. They also have a “club house” -- a log cabin filled with hay on the inside and a lovely porch outside, where the trio often lounges around together, according to Allen.
The staff at Noah’s Ark opened BLT’s pen to the public after observing them living in the same enclosure for the first four years. Today, this is the only known case in the world of three, distinct large predators who live in such proximity to each other.
The bear, Baloo, weighs 800 pounds and is the leader of the pack, which surprises Allen. “Typically, the tiger should be the leader, but it’s Baloo.”
Leo is an African lion and weighs about 450 pounds, and the tiger, Shere Khan, is the smallest in the group, weighing in at around 300 pounds. Because he is considered a small tiger, Allen says he’s likely a Siberian tiger.
All three animals are male and are the same age. In fact, they’ll be celebrating their 13th birthday on June 21 with a party at Noah’s Ark. Happy early birthday, BLT!