These Three Had Already Suffered Enough. But What The Government Did Made My Stomach Turn.

At first glance, it may seem like an American black bear, a Bengal tiger, and an African lion might not have anything in common, but these three individuals were victims of neglect and animal cruelty as cubs, finding solace only in each other.

The lion, tiger, and bear had been owned by a drug dealer who did not properly care for them. Negligence left the animals in poor health with multiple injuries.  Finally, they were rescued.  This is their story.

This unlikely group of friends were raised together since they were cubs…


The majestic trio go by the names of Leo (the lion), Baloo (the bear), Shere Khan (the tiger).

Their story begins at a very young age…


Leo, Baloo, and Shere Khan (collectively referred to as BLT, which is pretty awesome, but I digress) were bought together as cubs by a presumably wealthy drug dealer. As you would assume, this drug dealer was very neglectful of the poor cubs.

Thankfully, Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary came to the rescue…


The neglectful treatment of these creatures was discovered and they were taken in by the Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove, Georgia. Here, they were rehabilitated and cured of their many injuries. However, Baloo required a little more work.

Baloo loves to wear this fabulous scarf…


Baloo was perhaps in the worst shape when he arrived in Georgia, as he had a harness put on him by his former owner that was never adjusted as he grew, leaving it to morph into his skin. This harness had to be surgically removed, but the surgery was a huge success and he feels great now!

The inseparable trio…


The staff at the sanctuary separated BLT when they arrived, logically assuming that these three large predatory animals would try to fight each other. However, the animals did not take kindly to being separated. It turns out that during their time of neglect they had come to rely on each other for comfort and support. So when they were separated they became irritable and uncooperative.

Reunited and it feels so good!…


So the staff decided to put them all together again, making sure to watch their behavior because they were sure nothing good would come of it. But these three friends proved them wrong and had a considerably improved demeanor and lived peacefully together.

And now comes the sad part…


The trio had been together for twelve years, spending most of their days playing, cuddling, and just being adorable. But it wasn’t long before the government had to get involved. New federal regulations were passed which required big cat enclosures to have 16 foot fences, but BLT’s enclosure only had an 8 foot fence. If these new regulations weren’t met, the trio would have to be split up after 12 years.

Good people to the rescue…


As you can imagine, increasing the height of the fences for an entire enclosure is quite expensive. The sanctuary was told that the total cost to replace the fence would be a whopping $489,000. This would not be affordable for a non-profit animal sanctuary. But, contrary to popular belief, there are still good people out there. Thanks to crowdfunding, the sanctuary was able to raise $362,269. The fence installment company even said they would discount the price to put up the new fence!

Crisis averted…


The sanctuary was able to have the fence installed and BLT are still together! And by the looks of it, they’ll get to live out the rest of their lives with their best friends at their side.

Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary houses over 1,200 animals representing over 100 species. All of these animals have been surrendered by former owners or rescued by the Department of Natural Resources. The animals range from domesticated farm animals such as sheep and geese, to exotic animals, such as BLT. Admission to the sanctuary is free, and they rely solely on contributions to provide food, medical care, and enrichment to save animals in need. So donate and help them out!

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