Daily Mail Reporter
04:43 GMT, 11 June 2014
04:46 GMT, 11 June 2014
Lions, tigers and bears are the kind of apex predators that instill fear in the hearts of most humans. But at the Myrtle Beach Safari and Wildlife Preserve, one unlikely animal trio is warming visitors hearts with their friendship and unusual workout.
Nahma the white tiger, Bam Bam the lion and Maximus the grizzly bear were raised together at the South Carolina preserve and consider each other siblings.
The 1-year-olds were recently photographer swimming in the pool with their handlers, an aquatic workout all three enjoy.
The bear-y best of friends: Maximus the grizzly bear, Bam Bam the lion and Nahma the white tiger were raised together at a sanctuary in South Carolina
Brother bear: Because they grew up together as cubs, the unlikely trio consider each other family. Above, Maximus takes a dip with a handler
Swimming cats: The three friends swim in the pool together as a form of exercise. Above, Nahma (left) and Bam Bam paddle side by side
Keeping fit: The handlers at the sanctuary take the animals swimming to keep them healthy, agile and stimulated
‘These three have been playing together all their lives, so they’ve forgotten their differences,’ said Doc Antle who runs the preserve.
Antle coordinates wildlife conservation projects all over the world via RareSpeciesFund.org. He says allowing the animals to swim in his specially constructed pool keeps them healthy, agile and stimulated.
‘It’s great exercise for them and it helps keep them cool in the summer,’ he said.
Making a splash: Nahma looks like a natural in the water
Don’t drink the pool water! Bam Bam still needs to learn some rules of pool etiquette. The water is for swimming, not for gulping down
Any fish? Maximus takes a look at what lies below the surface of the pool, perhaps following a natural urge to hunt for salmon
Having a blast: Like all young cubs, Maximus likes to splash around and have fun in the water
Time for a break! Maximus hydrates with some water after a good workout in the pool