Baloo the American black bear (Ursus americanus), Leo the African lion (Panthera leo), and Shere Khan the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris); known as “The BLT” came to Noah’s Ark in 2001 after they were discovered by police officers in a basement of an Atlanta home during a drug raid. At only a few months old, all three cubs were frightened, malnourished, and infected with internal and external parasites when the Georgia Department of Natural Resources brought them to Noah’s Ark.
Baloo the American black bear was in the worst condition of the three cubs rescued with a severely ingrown harness digging into his flesh because it was never loosened as he grew in size. The harness was so ingrown that his flesh had begun to grow over and around it, and surgical intervention was required to remove the harness and clean his deep, infected wounds. During Baloo’s surgery was the only time the three brothers have ever been separated from one another, and 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. Baloo is a very confident and relaxed bear and will do anything for a sweet treat. American black bears are native to most of North America and vary greatly in both size (the largest recorded was over 800 lbs) and color (can be black, brown or blonde). They are skilled survivors and have a conservation status of “least concerned” despite the increasing number of human/ bear conflicts. 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.
No matter who we are, no matter in which part of the world we dwell, we are one. We are one with each other. We are one with the Earth. We are one with the moon, the sun, and the stars.
–Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, Zulu Lion Shaman
In the land where trees are called “growing people” and ancestral spirits are consulted in community decisions, we meet the White Lions of Timbavati, South Africa.
Like indigenous leaders in whose homeland other White Spirit Animals are born, here too, in Africa, Zulu elders teach that there is vital significance in the appearance of the White Lions in Timbavati at this time. As with all the other White Spirit Animals, the White Spirit Lions have come to warn us of dramatic Earth changes, encouraging us to work together in these perilous times. Protecting the Earth, as Lions have protected humans throughout time, is our noble-hearted duty.
Excerpt from White Spirit Animals: Prophets of Change
Like Bear, Lion has been known to protect entire tribes from harm and it is by touching the animal that lion power is gained. As with Daniel in the Hebrew Bible who was not eaten or harmed after being thrown into a pit full of lions, or a bushman sitting side by side with a lion and coming into rapport with it, harm and aggression are circumvented when one is in telepathic communication with animals.
The power of an animal is not given to its abuser or killer as many hunters mistakenly believe. The power of an animal and its aptitudes are shared with a human through respectful relations. It is through this pacific communiqué that harmony is maintained. Domination is supplanted by a mutual recognition of the sentience and awareness of both species. So it is with all animals at all scales of being. When one has rapport in consciousness, peaceful trans-species exchange is able to take place and forces are joined to achieve a mutual goal. This mutual trust and respect is at the heart of all human-animal collaboration. This type of noble partnership speaks to the purpose of service and how our lives concern more than just our individual selves.