This is GREAT story about tolerance, forgetting your differences and living together in peace. We so called “civilized and superior” humans should take a lesson from this story and learn from the animals how to better relate to one another! Thanks Alan for sending it to me.
They make an unlikely trio, but Baloo the bear, Leo the lion and Shere Khan
the tiger have forged an unusually strong bond.
Considering that they would be mortal enemies if they ever were to meet in the
wild, it is stunning to see their unique and genuine friendship in these intimate
Rescued eight years ago during a police drugs raid in Atlanta ,Georgia,
the three friends were only cubs at the time, barely two months old.
They had been kept as status symbol pets by the drug barons.
Delivered to the Noah’s Ark Animal Rescue Center in Locust Grove, Georgia,
the decision was made to keep the youngsters together because of their
‘We could have separated them, but since they came as a kind of family,
the zoo decided to keep them together,’ said Diane Smith, assistant
Director of Noah’s Ark.
‘To our knowledge, this is the only place where you’ll find this combination
of animals together.’
Living with the zoo’s founders for the past eight years, Shere Khan, Baloo
and Leo have now moved to a purpose-built habitat where the US public
can now witness first hand their touching relationships.
‘We didn’t have the money to move them at first,’ said Diane.
‘Now their habitat is sorted and they have been moved away from the children’s
zoo areas where the public couldn’t really get a good look.
‘It is possible to see Baloo, who is a 1000lb bear, Shere Khan, a 350lb tiger
and Leo, who is also 350lbs, messing around like brothers.
‘They are totally oblivious to the fact that in any other circumstance they would
not be friends.’
Handled by Charles and Jama Hedgecoth, the zoo’s owners and founders,
the three friendly giants appear to have no comprehension of their animal
‘Baloo and Shere Khan are very close,’ says Diane.
‘That is because they rise early, and as Leo is a lion, he likes to spend most
of the day sleeping.
‘It’s wonderful and magical to see a giant American Black Bear put his arm
around a Bengal Tiger and then to see the tiger nuzzle up to the bear like a
‘When Leo wakes up, the three of them mess around for most of the day
before they settle down to some food.’
Surprisingly, for three apex predators with the power to kill with a single bite
or swipe of their paw, they are very relaxed around each other.
‘They eat, sleep and play together,’ said Jama.
‘As they treat each other as siblings, they will lie on top of each other for heat
and simply for affection.
‘At the moment they are getting use to their new habitat.
‘Shere Khan is being quite reticent about the move, but Baloo, the bear, is very
good at leading him on and making him feel comfortable and safe.’
Explaining that the three ‘brothers’ have always seemed to share a unique
bond, Charles said: ‘Noah’s Ark is their home and they could not possibly be
separated from each other.
‘You just have to remember who you’re dealing with when you are with them,
‘It’s when you forget that these fellows are wild animals that you get yourself
The trio’s new habitat had to be constructed carefully, in order to accommodate
Jama said: ‘The clubhouse had to be very sturdy for the guys, because they all
sleep in it together,’ She added: ‘We had to include a creek, because the tiger
and the bear both like to be in water.’
Learn more about Noah’s Ark Animal Rescue and Children’s Center on their website.