Baloo – a North American Black Bear, Leo – an African Lion, and Shere Hkhan – a Bengal Tiger, were discovered in an Atlanta home’s basement by police officers during a drug raid.
At only a few months old, all three cubs were frightened, malnourished and infected with internal and external parasites when they were brought to non-profit animal sanctuary by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
In 2001, Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, a nonprofit that cares for animals in need, came to the rescue, and took them to Locust Grove, Georgia, where they were treated for injuries.
They could have been separated but since at the moment of the rescue they were already friends, the sanctuary decided to keep them together.
The abuse they suffered together as babies has bonded them into a loving brotherhood that does not recognize species.
The trio had been together for twelve years, spending most of their days playing, cuddling, and just being adorable. But then new federal regulations were passed which required big cat enclosures to have 16 foot fences, while BLT’s enclosure only had an 8 foot fence. If these new regulations weren’t met, the trio would have to be split up after 12 years.
As you can imagine, increasing the height of the fences for an entire enclosure is quite expensive. The sanctuary was told that the total cost to replace the fence would be a whopping $489,000. This would not be affordable for a non-profit animal sanctuary. But, contrary to popular belief, there are still good people out there. Thanks to crowdfunding, the sanctuary was able to raise $362,269. The fence installment company even said they would discount the price to put up the new fence.
The sanctuary was able to have the fence installed and BLT are still together. And by the looks of it, they’ll get to live out the rest of their lives with their best friends at their side.