The wildest BLT

How a bear, a lion and a tiger became best buds

The picture says it all: a lion peacefully walking past a recumbent bear while a tiger quietly strolls in the opposite direction. The lords of the wild so comfortable with each other because they have been together since babes. After being rescued eight years ago from a drug lord in Atlanta, Ga., the three were raised together at Noah’s Ark animal rescue centre. Now that Baloo (a 1,000-pound bear), Shere Khan ( a 350-pound tiger) and Leo (a 350-pound lion) have moved into a new, purpose-built habitat, their antics can be witnessed by the general public.  Diane Smith, the zoo’s assistant director, believes they don’t realize how different they really are: “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. When Leo wakes up the three of them mess around for most of the day before they settle down to some food.”