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article imageBear, lion and tiger are unlikely best friends who live together

By Stephanie Dearing     Dec 13, 2009 in Lifestyle
One American animal shelter has got three friends it fondly refers to as "BLT." The bear, lion and tiger were rescued when they were all about two months old eight years ago.
Georgia - The trio is now inseparable, as they were raised together. Named Baloo (the bear), Leo (the lion), and Shere Khan (the tiger), they were found together when police raided a drug dealer's premises in 2002. The three have lived at Noah's Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center and Children's Care Home ever since. The trio have a Facebook fan page. Staffer Diane Smith told the Mirror “It is magical to see a giant American Black Bear put his arm around a Bengal tiger and then to see the tiger nuzzle up like a domestic cat.”
People can visit the animal sanctuary, although it is advised one should call ahead to ensure they are open. Noah's Ark does have some dogs it will adopt out. Not only home to unique animals in need of caring homes, Noah's Ark also runs a group home for up to 24 children, from birth to 18 years of age. The animal facility is home for up to 1,000 animals.
Drug dealers have been acquiring exotic animals as a way to flash their status. Experts say it is a way to demonstrate virility and bravado, according to the LA Times. . The demand from drug dealers and other people for exotic pets has driven up the underground market. According to the Humane Society, America is "... one of the largest consumers of the world's wild animals." The wild animal trade is reportedly worth billions each year.
Mexican drug lords are very keen on the practice, and police raids have uncovered small private zoos set up by drug dealers.
Florida is said to be one of the biggest sources of big cats in the United States.
Other mammals besides humans can become addicted to cocaine, as well as other drugs, and animals are used to study addiction.
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