Sanctuary staff anticipated the need to separate the friends once they reached sexual maturity, as they would likely grow apart. After all, it’s the natural order in the animal kingdom. But the trio, known as BLT (bear, lion, tiger), never left each other’s sides. The sanctuary ultimately decided to keep them together.
Baloo, the playful one, loved teasing Leo with gentle bites. And the affectionate Shere Khan could often be found snuggling up to either of his brothers.
“Even though they live in a three-acre enclosure, they’re usually within 100 feet of each other,” Allison told Inside Edition. “That’s proof that they’re not just coexisting or cohabiting, they actually do enjoy each other’s company.”
Leo and Shere Khan spent the rest of their lives with Baloo before they passed away, respectively, in 2016 and 2018. Baloo was there for both of their burials — and a constant presence in their final days.
While everyone at the sanctuary is still heartbroken over their deaths, they find solace in knowing they gave all three a fantastic life together. And they’re making sure Baloo knows he isn’t alone.
Rest in peace, Leo and Shere Khan. The world will never forget your beautiful story of survival and friendship.
This video is short but it’s a sweet snapshot of just how devoted these brothers were. Don’t forget to share with other animal lovers.