The incredible bonds that can be developed among creatures of all kinds in times of trouble never ceases to amaze me, and the one that’s grown between the unlikely animal friends of the Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary is one of the best I’ve heard of yet. The paths of Baloo the American Black Bear, Shere Khan the Bengal Tiger, and Leo the African Lion crossed when as only young cubs, they came under the “care” of an Atlanta, Georgia based drug dealer. Viewing the animals as nothing more than trophies, the three were badly neglected and left in dire conditions. Fortunately, their plight was discovered before it was too late when the home of the trio’s owner was raided by authorities. Inside, police found the terrible conditions Baloo, Shere Khan, and Leo were being kept in. Malnourished, sick, dirty, and showing signs of abuse, they were in desperate need of help.
Stepping up in the cubs’ time of need, the Noah’s Ark animal sanctuary in Locust Grove, Georgia became their new home. There they would be nursed back to health, finally being given the proper care and nutrition which they had never before received. With time, their wounds would be mended, with Shere Khan being brought to a normal weight and Baloo and Leo receiving treatment for infected wounds. Baloo’s situation had grown so terrible that he required surgery to a remove a harness he had long grown out of which had become embedded in his skin. The procedure would be the first time the three had ever been separated. Today, the three unlikely animal friends are closer than ever, spending their days at Noah’s Ark playing and nuzzling each other’s necks (Leo the lion does not have a mane because he was a neuteured at a very young age which prevents its growth). For more information on the three and the animal sanctuary at which they reside, visit the Noah’s Ark website.