For 13 years, Baloo the bear, Leo the lion and Shere Khan the tiger have been spending their time together. The three adorable friends, who are residents ofÂ Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Georgia, were rescued as cubs from a drug dealer who kept them as pets.
In the wild, the three species hail from different continents and would have never met.Â Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove calls the unlikely friends “the BLT.”
“It’s really amazing that the BLT all interact like they do,” Noah’s Ark animal husbandry manager Allison Hedgecoth said on TODAY Friday. “As far as we know, this is the only BLT in the world.”
“They actually seek out each other’s affections,” Hedgecoth Â told the “Today” show.Â “They nuzzle each other. They play together.”
“I think people, they really want to be like that,” Jama Hedgecoth said. “They teach you how to get along. They’re definitely not the same color. They’re not the same species. They’re not even from the same country, and they love each other. They’re brothers, and they teach you how to love.”
The friends were rescued more than 10 years agoÂ from an Atlanta drug dealer, who kept the exotic pets as status symbols.
Actually, there’s a period when the trio were forced to be apart: Baloo underwent surgery to remove an ingrown harness he hadÂ to wear at the apartment. The restraint was so tight, the poor brown bear’s skin had grown over it.
With Baloo gone for medical treatment, Shere Khan and Leo were upset, “pacing and vocalizing for the lost member of their family of three to return,”Â Noah’s Ark wrote on its website.
Hedgercoth went on, adding that he believesÂ the BLT is the only friendsÂ of its kind. The fluffyÂ trioÂ would have never met in the wild: Bears are native to North America, lions to Africa and tigers to Asia.
“They teach you how to get along,”Â Hedgecoth said on “Today.”Â “They’re definitely not the same color. They’re not the same species. They’re not even from the same country, and they love each other … and they teach you how to love.”