Meet the 'BLT': inseparable bear, lion and tiger bonded by trauma of drug-dealer's basement
The animal sancturary where they live calls them the 'BLT'. They are best friends after being set free from a drug dealer's basement 15 years ago
'The BLT' are a very unusual family - consisting of a bear, a lion and a tiger.
The three were rescued in a drug raid 15 years ago, and have been inseparable ever since.
They live together at the Noah's Ark Animal sanctuary in Georgia, US.
Baloo the American black bear, Leo the African lion and Shere Khan the Bengal tiger were all rescued when they were less than one year old.
Leo the lion was wounded and confined to a tiny cage, and Baloo the bear had to have his painfully tight harness surgically removed.
All three cubs were severely malnourished and infected by parasites.
The only time they were separated was when Baloo had surgery to remove the harness - and this separation greatly distressed the other two cubs.
Now, they are all healthy and happy, and lead a blissful life together as best friends.
Their situation is unique - as animals from different species often don't get along very well.
"All three are still equally affectionate with one another," NAAS curator Allison Hedgecoth told The Dodo. She says that time hasn't changed the family dynamics much.
"Shere Khan has always been mischievous, and even though he is getting older this hasn't changed him one bit," she said.
The sanctuary cares for more than 1,000 animals yearly.
According to the website, the sanctuary spends more than $30,000 monthly to give food and medical care for the furry residents.
The sanctuary charges nothing for admission, but does accept donations.
Have you heard the story of how The BLT (bear, lion, & tiger) came to be? Baloo the American black bear, Leo the African lion, and Shere Khan the Bengal tiger; known as "The BLT" came to Noah's Ark in 2001 after they were discovered by police officers in a basement of an Atlanta home during a drug raid. At only a few months old, all three cubs were frightened, malnourished, and infected with internal and external parasites when the Georgia Department of Natural Resources brought them to Noah’s Ark.Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan eat, sleep, and play together and even seek out grooming and affection from one another, head rubbing and licking each another. Their terrifying early months in life bonded the three together and they are truly inseparable despite their obvious differences. How far can we spread their story? Please share. :-) <3www.noahs-ark.orgPosted by Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary: home of the BLT on Sunday, February 7, 2016
Noah's Ark often posts videos of 'The BLT' on Facebook.
The three creatures are among the most popular animals at the sancturary.
Noah's Ark Sanctuary said: "Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan eat, sleep, and play together and even seek out grooming and affection from one another, head rubbing and licking each another.
"Their terrifying early months in life bonded the three together and they are truly inseparable despite their obvious differences."