Leo, the lion; Baloo the bear; and Shere Khan, the tiger are a rare trio who have formed a lifelong bond from the t.rauma they experienced together.
In the wild, these are three male predators that are often opposites, but against all odds, they are best friends.
The trio was found in 2001 when a d.r.u.g d.ealer home was raided by police in Atlanta, Georgia.
When police searched the basement, they found three malnourished and brightly colored tiger cubs that had been infected with p.arasi.tes.
Baloo was wearing a harness that was so tight and cut into his skin, Leo had a c.ut across his f.ace and was thrown into a tiny cage, and Shere Khan wasn’t d.ange.seriously malnourished.
It was a heartbreaking situation; all three are just cubs and have suffered a lot.
After being discovered, they were immediately rescued and taken to Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Georgia (USA).
Unfortunately, the three cubs had to go through too much trouble to return to the wild.
They are happy to enjoy the large grounds of the reserve and receive much love and care from the dedicated staff.
Allison Hedgecoth, a curator of the reserve, said: “When they were first brought to the reserve, Baloo, Shere Khan and Leo were wou.nded, f.rightened and clung to each other for comfort.
When they feel more comfortable, they cuddle, play together, and groom each other.
This behavior did not appear to be unusual; However, what is surprising is their strong friendship.
She explained that sometimes young animals form bonds with members from other species, but they often separate as they get older.
It was clear from the very beginning that the three were bound together by their experience.
They seek each other’s comfort when they are worried and shower each other with love by playing together and grooming each other.
They spent 15 happy years together; playing, cuddling, teasing each other and sleeping together.
The horrors of youth fade from their minds as they create new, happy, loving memories together.
In 2016 and 2018, Leo and Shere Khan sadly passed away. Baloo was there for them in their final days and was at their party.
Everyone at the reserve is heartbroken, but they know they did all they could to give them a wonderful life.
Three Friends showed us that family doesn’t always mean being faithful and that one day even our darkest moments can be replaced with love and light.