Oh My! Lion, Tiger and Bear Form Unlikely Friendship

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Lion tiger bear friends

(photo credit: ABC)

Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

It sounds like the next Disney movie, but a lion named Leio, a tiger named Shere Khan, and a black bear named Baloo have become best buds at the Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Georgia, according to ABC News.

In a small pen, Baloo, Leo and Shere Kahn cuddle, play ball, chase each other around, eat cookies daily and seem to have forged a friendship for life.

“It’s kind of unusual because black bears and tigers would be solitary as adults,” Rebecca Snyder, a curator of animals at Atlanta’s zoo told ABC.

The three predators were rescued as cubs 12 years ago from drug dealers who’d abused and neglected them.

“All of them had issues,” Allison Hedgecoth of Noah’s Ark said.

Trainers originally tried to separate the animals but they acted out.  Now for years, witnesses worried and waited for fights, which never came.  (Experts say if they did fight, the tiger would win)

“I think that the ordeal they went through as youngsters really bonded them together,” Hedgecoth told ABC News. “That’s all that they had. They only had each other for comfort.”