Many of us are taught from a young age that the fundamental feeling of love has no boundaries. We try to keep that ideology close to our hearts as we grow and make friends. In the wild, different species cohabitate land, but the majority stick to their kind. Even in the domestic world, we see the confusion, curiosity, and often times fear a new type of animal inflicts on  another.

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I have this book called Unlikely Friendships, and whenever I flip through the pages and read the stories behind the animals’ incredible bonds, I am reminded of the power of love. And I am never not moved. Animals remind humans of the greatness of our actions in the absence of words.

The following story is about Baloo the bear, Leo the lion, and Shere Khan the tiger, who have spent the last 15 years cohabitating peacefully in Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter in Georgia. The trio, who go by the acronym BLT, came to the shelter after being held captive in an Atlanta basement under excruciating circumstances back in 2001 and then discovered during a police drug raid. In fact, Baloo had to have surgery to remove an ingrowing harness that was never adjusted as he matured. While the trio had to be briefly separated for that surgery, they have been together ever since. They are family under the worst and best circumstances, and their bond will warm your heart.

Images: Bored Panda

The BLT, from three different continents, would have never known each other in the wild. But used as a status symbol by a drug dealer, they were forced to turn to each other for comfort. Now, they live together, play together and love together.

lions, tigers, bears

 

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lions, tigers, bearsBecause they were too injured to be rehabilitated and returned to the wild, they live happily in Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter in Georgia.

lions, tigers, bears

 

lions, tigers, bears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lions, tigers, bears

While they met under terrible circumstances, the three animals now act like brothers, despite their apparent differences.

lions, tigers, bears

lions, tigers, bears

Baloo is an American Black Bear, Leo is an African Lion, and Shere Khan is a Bengal Tiger.
lions, tigers, bears lions, tigers, bears

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baloo weighs in at 700 pounds, Leo 500 pounds, and Shere Khan 350 pounds.lions, tigers, bears