The trio were found during a drugs raid in an Atlanta home in 2001. They were discovered in terrible conditions, locked up in tiny cages, injured and starving. Baloo the black bear, Leo the lion and Shere Khan the tiger, were all less than one year old at the time of their rescue.
Allison Hedgecoth, the daughter of the sanctuary's founders, toldABC 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.
Although these animals would have usually lived out their lives separately, 15 years later, and Leo, Baloo and Shere Khan are best friends who spend their lives together! Cuddling, eating, sleeping and playing together, the sanctuary workers say they've never seen any sign of conflict between the large mammals.
Diane Smith, assistant director of the Noah's Ark zoo explained the trio's unheard of friendship:
Baloo and Shere Khan are very close. That is because they rise early, as Leo being a lion likes to spend most the day sleeping. It is 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 domestic cat.When Leo wakes up the three of them mess around for most of the day before they settle down to some food.