Known as "The BLT" - Baloo the American black bear, Leo the lion and Shere Khan the Bengal tiger have been living together in an enclosure at an animal shelter for the last 15 years.

The three were found only a few months old by police during a drugs raid in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2001.

They were discovered malnourished and underweight, cowering in cages under the house.

Ever since, they have lived together in an enclosure at Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary, which now includes a creek and a wooden home complete with a wrap-around porch.

The suburban sanctuary, south-west of Atlanta, said of the trio: "Baloo, Leo and Shere Khan eat, sleep, and play together and even seek out grooming and affection from one another, head rubbing and licking each another.

"Their terrifying early months in life bonded the three together and they are truly inseparable despite their obvious differences."

The only time the three were separated was during surgery on Baloo to cut him out of the harness his former captors had placed him in.

Noah's Ark said of that time: "Shere Khan the tiger and Leo the lion became extremely agitated because of it, pacing and vocalizing for the lost member of their family to return. 

"After his surgery, Baloo was returned to his brothers and the three have been together ever since, with hardly a quarrel between them."

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