So a Lion, a Tiger and a Bear Walk Into a Bar...

Jill Harness

What do you do when a raid of a drug dealer's house turns up a lion, a tiger and a bear cub that are each only two months old? If you work for Noah's Ark Animal Rescue, you may end up taking all three in together and letting them form a beautifully bizarre friendship.

"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 the Noah's Ark zoo. "To our knowledge, this is the only place where you'll find this combination of animals together, they are our BLT, (bear, lion and tiger).

The 1000 pound bear, Baloo, and the two 350 pound cats, Shere Khan and Leo, play together like brothers. The keepers say that Baloo and Shere Khan are the closest --in what seems like a very strange twist on the classic Jungle Book story.

"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."