A new email about an old story is making its rounds through cyberspace, chronicling the story of Leo the lion, Shere Khan the tiger and Baloo the bear.
Rescued after police raided a known drug dealer's Atlanta residence ten years ago, the trio was taken to Noah's Ark Animal Rescue Center in Locust Grove, Georgia.
Officials at Noah's Ark originally considered separating the animals, placing them in different habitats, but assistant director Diane Smith told The Telegraph: "We could have separated them, but since they came as a kind of family, the zoo decided to keep them together. To our knowledge, this is the only place where you'll find this combination of animals together, they are our BLT, (bear, lion and tiger)."
The unlikely trio had lived with the zoo's founder, but the zoo decided to build a habitat specifically for Shere Khan, Baloo and Leo so that the public could view their "touching relationship". Smith told The Telegraph: "We didn't have the money to move them at first...now, though, it is possible to see Baloo, who is a 1,000 pound bear, Shere Khan, a 350 pound tiger and Leo, who is also 350 pounds messing around like brothers."
Baloo the American black bear, Leo the African lion and Shere Khan the tiger at Noah's Ark.
Although all three of these animals have the power to kill each other, they seem to be oblivious to the fact that they are not supposed to get along. They, lounge, wrestle and play together like any other siblings would do. Smith told Mother Nature Network"It is wonderful and magical to see a giant American black bear put his arm around a Bengal tiger and then to see the tiger nuzzle up to the bear like a domestic cat."
As one YouTube viewer commented on a related video, these animals are "a perfect example of how love, friendship and mutual respect can overcome fear, differences and prejudice."