A heartwarming, unusual bond

I was surprised to read of a lion, a tiger and a bear – predators from three different continents who’d normally never encounter each other in the wild – living together at a Georgia animal rescue center.  Yahoo News reports:

An American black bear, an African lion, and a Bengal tiger are the best of friends at the Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary (NAAS) in Locust Grove, Georgia. In fact, they’re known collectively as the BLT (an acronym for bear, lion and tiger) around the rescue center.

They are so inseparable that the trio shares living quarters, which is usually dangerous for wild animals of different species, according to NAAS Curator Allison Hedgecoth.

. . .

“Even though they live in a three-acre enclosure, they’re usually within 100 feet of each other,” Hedgecoth explained … “That’s proof that they’re not just coexisting or cohabiting, they actually do enjoy each other’s company.”

Further proof is that the trio prefers to eat next to each other, which is rare since their natural instinct is to be protective of their food.

But Hedgecoth said that she has no doubt the BLT are communicating perfectly, especially in the way the playful Baloo teases the stoic Leo.

“Once a day, the bear will bite the lion on the eyebrow, or he will grab his eyebrow and pull” and Leo might respond with a growl, Hedgecoth said. She compared the interaction to the way loving brothers might try to annoy or embarrass each other, adding that the animals have never injured each other.

“The tiger is very mischievous,” Hedgecoth said. “He likes to sneak up behind them.”

The BLT have been together for the past 15 years, partially due to having shared a traumatic past.

“They were rescued from a drug dealer’s basement in Atlanta,” Hedgecoth said. “They saw each other as family so they don’t know any different.”

There’s more at the link.  Here’s an earlier video report about the trio.

Next time I pass through Georgia, I’m going to have to make a detour to Locust Grove to see them.



  1. They've simply adjusted to the "default" aspects of their living environment.
    Talk about "diversity". They have the concept down pat.

  2. This can work if you get them very young and keep them very well fed.
    They've imprinted on each other, and think they're related.

  3. Hey Peter;

    When you decide to check out the place, let me know…That place ain't far from me. We can have a mini blogger meet.

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