Monday, August 20, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Bears ... Oh my!


G'evening!

So, when I fretted to DH this evening, 
"There's Absolutely.Nothing.Happening(!) to merit a post" -- he just grinned and invited me, "Come look!"      

He knows I'm over the moon for wild animals ... especially bears.  
And supposing everyone enjoys a little "ahhhh" moment, I couldn't wait to share this improbable story!   

~ ~ ~

They make an unlikely trio, but "Baloo" the BEAR , "Leo" the LION, and "Shere Khan" the TIGER have forged an unusually strong bond.

Considering that they would be mortal enemies if they ever were to meet in the wild, it is stunning to see their unique and genuine friendship in these intimate pictures.


Rescued 8 years ago during a police drug raid in Atlanta , Georgia - the 3 friends were only cubs at the time at barely two months old.

They had been kept as status symbol pets by the drug barons.
Delivered to the Noah's Ark Animal Rescue Centre in Locust Grove , Georgia , the decision was made to keep the youngsters together, because of their budding rapport.
"We could have separated them, but since they came as a kind of family, the Zoo decided to keep them together," said Diane Smith, assistant director of Noah's Ark.


Living with the zoo's founders for the past eight years - Shere Khan, Baloo and Leo have now moved to a purpose-built habitat where the US public can now witness first hand their touching relationships.

It is possible to see Baloo, who is a 1000lb bear, Shere Khan, a 350lb tiger and Leo, the Lion, who is also 350lbs, messing around like brothers.

They are totally oblivious to the fact that in any other circumstance they would not be friends.

Handled by Charles and Jama Hedgecoth, the zoo's owners and founders, the three friendly giants appear to have no comprehension of their animal differences.

"Baloo and Shere Khan are very close," says Diane.
That is because they rise early, and as Leo is a lion, he likes to spend most of the day sleeping.

It is wonderful and magical to see a giant American Black Bear put his arm around a Bengal 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.



Surprisingly for three apex predators with the power to kill with a single bite or swipe of their paw, they are very relaxed around each other.

"They eat, sleep and play together," said Jama.

As they treat each other as siblings they will lie on top of each other for heat and simply for affection.
Explaining that the three 'brothers' have always seemed to share a unique bond, Charles said: 'Noah's Ark is their home and they could not possibly be separated from each other.




And how are YOU getting along with YOUR neighbors today
?

6 comments:

  1. Probably not as well as these guys. Love the pictures, and yes, there's always something to post about!

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  2. WOW - now I live in Atlanta and I did not hear of this - that is so COOL! Good job. sandie

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  3. What an amazing story you have shared today. I can't wait to share it with the Old Salt. I'm surprised he has not already found this and shared it with me.

    Afraid I have the opposite problem. I have dozens of post started and not enough time to finish them and get them posted because other subjects to post about keep coming along and getting pushed to the head of the line. But, I suspect that has to do with all the memes I like to participate in.

    But, I have to admit I do not have your talent for telling the uplifting and inspiring stories you do.

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  4. What a wonderful post! It ought to inspire us all. It does me.

    I'll have to ask the husband where that place is in GA. I recognize the name but don't know where it is.

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  5. After reading this, there is no excuse for me not to be able to tolerate others! Gosh, those animals are huge!

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Thanks so much for dropping by! Your words are like hugs from afar.... and who doesn't love a hug!