Friendship is one of the strongest bonds we develop in life. True friendship is based on love, respect, and care, and it helps us grow, and makes us stronger.
Our friends are the family we get to choose. We meet many people in our life, but the best ones remain by our side forever.
This was the case with Baloo the bear, Leo the lion and Shere Khan the tiger, who have been inseparable for almost two decades, living together at Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter in Georgia.
The trio was rescued in 2001 during a police drug raid, after being found in the basement of a house in Atlanta. They had been subjected to severe animal abuse and kept in the basement in terrible conditions. They were each less than 1 year old at the time.
All of them were terrified, malnourished, and carrying internal and external parasites. Leo was found with an infected wound on his nose caused by being confined to a small crate.
Baloo was in the worst condition of the three cubs, as a severely ingrown harness was digging into his flesh, because, as he grew, it was never loosened. This is why he had to be taken to hospital to undergo surgery.
This was the only time the three friends were separated, and since then, they are enjoying every single day together.
As their injuries were too severe, NAAS decided they couldn’t be returned to the wild, so the three friends remained at the sanctuary, sharing living quarters.
They eat together, play together, sleep together, comfort each other, and even give each other kisses.
NAAS curator Allison Hedgecoth claims that time hasn’t changed the dynamics of their friendship, and “all three are still equally affectionate with one another.”
She adds: “Shere Khan has always been mischievous, and even though he is getting older this hasn’t changed him one bit.”
Yet, as they are entering their golden years, they have slowed down a bit, but they are still enjoying life in each other’s company.
Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit educational sanctuary for exotic and farm animals. Through their Wildlife rehabilitation Program, they rehab hundreds of animals every year and takes care of more than 1,500 animals in various categories.
For almost two decades, Baloo the bear, Leo the lion and Shere Khan the tiger have been living together at Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter in Georgia