Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary – a nonprofit dedicated to caring for abused and neglected animals – houses over one thousand rescued animals on their 250 acres in Locust Grove (just south of Atlanta), Georgia. Among them is a trio who has garnered such attention their story appeared on world news.
In 2001, a lion, tiger and bear were rescued from an abusive environment in a drug dealer’s basement in Atlanta. The staff at the sanctuary tended to the wounds of these three and in time, they were completely healed.
Knowing that each one of these animals is a predator and could easily do harm to the others, the attempt was made to separate them for their own safety. The staff was not successful at that attempt. Leo the lion, Shere Khan the tiger and Baloo the bear would not be separated. So they have lived together for twelve years. They suffered together, they came to the sanctuary together and together they will stay. An unlikely friendship, to be sure, but a foretaste of what God has planned for the future.
God gave the prophet Isaiah a vision of a time when that kind of friendship will be routine – when the Lord Jesus Christ will reign forever on His earth. As an animal lover – but realistically cautious when it comes to dangerous animals – I am eagerly looking forward to that day.
And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together and the lion will eat straw like the ox (Isaiah 11:6-7).