Lion, Tiger, And Bear Become Lifelong Friends After Being Rescued As Cubs

This story originally appeared at InspireMore.

Lions, tigers, and bears definitely aren’t meant to live as a pack. But not every animal has been through the trauma that forged the bond between three normally opposing male predators.

Back in 2001, police raided a drug dealer’s house in Atlanta, Georgia. In the basement, they came across a heartbreaking sight. There sat three terrified, malnourished, and parasite-ridden cubs that certainly didn’t belong in anyone’s home.

Photo: Facebook/The BLT – Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan

 

The African lion, Leo, had been stuffed inside a small crate with an open wound on his face. Shere Khan, the Bengal tiger, was emaciated, and the black bear, Baloo, was wearing a harness so small it had become embedded into his flesh.

But their nightmare was finally over; the Georgia Department of Natural Resources took them to Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, a nonprofit animal rescue in Locust Grove. There, they’d spend the rest of their days on a beautiful 250-acre property. They’d already been through too much in their short lives to ever be released back into the wild.

Photo: Facebook/The BLT – Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan

“When they were first brought to the sanctuary, Baloo, Shere Khan, and Leo were injured, frightened and clinging to one another for comfort,” curator Allison Hedgecoth told HuffPost. And as they got more comfortable, they groomed each other, cuddled, and played together. Clearly, they were a bonded trio.

Photo: Facebook/The BLT – Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan

Sanctuary staff anticipated the need to separate the friends once they reached sexual maturity, as they would likely grow apart. After all, it’s the natural order in the animal kingdom. But the trio, known as BLT (bear, lion, tiger), never left each other’s sides. The sanctuary ultimately decided to keep them together.

Photo: Facebook/The BLT – Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan

For 15 years, Baloo, Leo, and Shere Khan lived, slept, and ate in the same habitat. And after surviving such horror together, they couldn’t have been happier.

Photo: Facebook/The BLT – Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan

Baloo, the playful one, loved teasing Leo with gentle bites. And the affectionate Shere Khan could often be found snuggling up to either of his brothers.

“Even though they live in a three-acre enclosure, they’re usually within 100 feet of each other,” Allison told Inside Edition. “That’s proof that they’re not just coexisting or cohabiting, they actually do enjoy each other’s company.”

Photo: Facebook/The BLT – Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan

Leo and Shere Khan spent the rest of their lives with Baloo before they passed away, respectively, in 2016 and 2018. Baloo was there for both of their burials — and a constant presence in their final days.

Photo: Facebook/The BLT – Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan

While everyone at the sanctuary is still heartbroken over their deaths, they find solace in knowing they gave all three a fantastic life together. And they’re making sure Baloo knows he isn’t alone.

Photo: Facebook/The BLT – Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan

Rest in peace, Leo and Shere Khan. The world will never forget your beautiful story of survival and friendship.

Four Winters, Four Summers, Four Days

Four winters.  That’s how long I was there. I remember each icy blast, each deep snow, and the mice far beneath, tucked into burrows I could not hope to reach.  I slept beneath the bramble and awakened with snow perched on branch and fur.

On the days when the creek’s ice cracked along the edges and snow melted in rivulets toward the pond, I knew I would not go hungry.

Four summers.  That’s how long I was there.  Other cats came and went from this place, and I fought often and hard for hunting rights, for the right to walk this piece of borrowed earth for a time.

You saw me one summer’s day, skirting along the edge of the forest.  I saw in your eyes compassion and distress at my gristly body.  You turned and disappeared inside, then returned with two small, circular objects, one with silvery water, the other with luscious scents.  You placed them at the garden’s edge and spoke softly to me:  “This is for you.”  I blinked slowly at you, acknowledging.

The scent of food brought back fragments of memory:  an old woman, a petting hand, a warm house.

I ate and drank my fill, then slipped off into the forest.  You watched.

Four days.  That’s how long you fed me.  On the fifth day, you placed a steel box on the ground with food and water inside.  I walked around it, wary, sniffing.  It smelled of other animals, and I sensed that you meant to trap me.  What I did not know then was that you would have taken me in and cared for me.

You dreamed about me that night—do you remember?  You stood on the back porch as I walked away, leaning into the wind.  I turned back toward you, my face round and scarred, my eyes telling you wordlessly: I will not return.  Did you remember every detail of the dream as you awoke, as if it were real?

Four days.  That’s how long you continued to set the trap with food and water.  On the fifth day you peered for a long time at the place where you had seen me in the dream.  Then you put away the trap and scattered the food in the forest for other animals to find.

Formula 1 (race) is going to Asia’s dog meat capital. Insist they help end the horror. Please sign this letter.

Please sign to stop the dog meat trade.

Act now! Formula 1 is going to Asia’s dog meat capital. Insist they help end the horror. Sign this letter.

Every day trucks leave a remote village in southern Vietnam.

Every truck is loaded with up to 1,000 stolen dogs, brutally crammed into tiny cages, their legs broken, many with their mouths taped shut, no food, no water, no hope – only a grisly death ahead of them.

Right now, Hanoi is marketing itself to the world as a desirable destination for tourism and business investment. The upcoming Vietnam Grand Prix is a big part of their plan.

That puts Formula 1 in a unique position with Vietnamese authorities.

Insist they use their influence to push for an end to the country’s vile dog meat trade.

Sign the letter asking Formula 1 to exert their influence in ending the dog meat trade!

SOIDOG.ORG/SAVETHEDOGS/SIGN

So That Backyard Dogs Don’t Die in this Heatwave

NATIONWIDE HEATWAVE:
Dogs could die without your help.

Temperatures are skyrocketing across the country. Yet even as blistering heat threatens humans and animals alike, “backyard dogs” are still being forced to suffer outside without adequate shelter—putting their lives at risk.

PETA’s team is working as quickly as we can to provide custom-built doghouses, fresh water, and more to dogs in desperate need. But this critical work takes significant resources, and dogs suffering through this week’s dangerously hot temperatures don’t have any more time to wait.

Will you help more dogs survive the summer?

How to Help: Prevent 1 backyard dog from dying from the heatwave

Easy Steps You Can Take: The Hot Car Bill/Animals in Distress

From Kristen Tullo, PA State Director, HSUS
The Animals in Distress law (you may recognize as the “Hot Car Bill”), now Act 104 of 2018, authorizes public safety professionals to remove dogs and cats from unattended motor vehicles when the animal is deemed to be in imminent danger by any cause. For example, the law protects pets suffering effects from extreme temperatures (hot and cold), dehydration due to lack of water, and collar or leash entanglement. The Animals in Distress law now gives law enforcement officers, animal control officers, humane police officers, and emergency responders civil immunity from lawsuits if they must break into a vehicle to save a pet. Rescue officials must attempt to find the owner before breaking into a car, and they are required to leave a note explaining the situation and where the seized animal can be retrieved.

With the “dog days of summer” coming soon, the Humane Society of the United States is partnering with the PA AAA Federation and Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) to launch a two-pronged educational campaign. Firstly, to inform the general public about rapidly rising temperatures in car interiors during hot weather and the associated risks of terminal dehydration and heat stroke. Secondly, to advise the public about the new policy and tell them what to do if they encounter a pet in trouble.

The 8.5×11 sheet flyer can be easily printed from here and it is a quick reference about the Animals in Distress law – the purpose of it and the need for it. We ask for your assistance in advertising the law by sharing the flyer with your network and members and via social media. Also, please print copies and distribute to public offices, businesses, community centers, etc. in your local area and ask them to display prominently. Grocery stores and shopping center parking lots are common places where people leave their pet locked in the car while they shop.

We need to get the message out that distressed animals require immediate action as they are at risk of lethal conditions such as dehydration, heatstroke, and hypothermia when exposed to extreme temperatures while trapped in cars.  Any witness to an animal in distress should call 911. If possible, the person calling authorities should stay with the vehicle until responders arrive. They can help by writing down the date and time, location, make and model of the vehicle and license plate number, and description of the distressed/endangered animal. If the owner appears before public responders arrive, do not confront; but rather write down the time and a description of the individual. This information will help authorities conduct a follow-up investigation.

The PA State Police Facebook page is another resource for related information. You can share this Facebook link and Tweet with people using social media of Trooper Brent Miller giving instructions on what to do when finding a dog or cat suffering in a locked car.

Passing HB 1216 into law was a great victory for our state’s animals. It happened because of the time and work you put into campaigning for it. It will spare animals and their owners from avoidable undue pain, suffering, and death. As always, thanks for your continued energy to protect the animals of Pennsylvania!

Humanely Yours,

Kristen