May 14, 2014

The Story of Leo, Baloo and Shere Khan: The Inseparable Bond Between a Bear, Lion and Tiger

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The BLT are the only bear, lion and tiger in the world that live in the same enclosure. In 2001, Baloo an American Black Bear, Leo an African Lion, and Shere Khan a Bengal Tiger; were discovered in an Atlanta home’s basement by police officers during a drug raid. At only a few months old, all three cubs were frightened, malnourished, and infected with internal and external parasites

 

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The Georgia Department of Natural Resources brought the cubs to Noah’s Ark, a non-profit animal sanctuary in Locust Grove, Georgia. When the cubs arrived to Noah’s Ark each had their own set of afflictions. Shere Khan the tiger was underweight and malnourished and Leo the lion had an open, infected wound on his nose from cruel confinement to a small crate

 

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Baloo the American Black Bear was in the worst condition of the three cubs rescued, with a severely ingrown harness digging into his flesh because it was never loosened as he grew in size. The harness was so ingrown that his flesh had begun to grow over and around it, and surgical intervention was required to remove the harness and clean his deep, infected wounds. During Baloo’s surgery was the only time the three brothers have ever been separated from one another.

 

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The trio, affectionately known as ‘the BLT’, eat, sleep and play together. They even seek out grooming from one another and are often seen head rubbing and licking one another. Their terrifying early months in life has bonded the three and they are truly inseparable.

 

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The BLT are all males and often people wonder why Leo doesn’t have a mane. The reason is because Leo was neutered at a very young age so he never grew one.

 

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Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that is home to over 1,500 animals from 100 different species. They are devoted to rescuing and providing a permanent home for animals that have been abused, abandoned or neglected, as well as animals who are surrendered for many different reasons. They also provide a forever home for animals who come from breeding facilities or have become surplus animals.

The 250 acre sanctuary is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM and the animal habitat is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Visitors are advised to call ahead (770-957-0888) to make sure they are open as they close sometimes due to rain and storm damage. There is no admission charge, however donations are accepted and appreciated. See here for ways you can help.

 

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