Animals

17 Million have watched man comfort bear after a hard day

June 19th, 2020

How have you been in quarantine lately? Having a hard day?

Well, so is this bear.

The video from the Orphaned Wildlife Center in Otisville, New York, shows a MASSIVE bear slumped over, just resting and looking a little down.

The OWC, started by Susan and Jim Kowalczik, specializes in bears and house a wide variety of them, including Kodiaks and Grizzlies!

The bear in the video is the largest that the OWC had in their facilities – Jimbo! He was a Kodiak that weighed around 1500 pounds and was in his twenties at the time of the video! He was a true gentle giant and very well loved by the OWC staff. He was especially loved by Susan’s husband, Jim.

Sadly, Jimbo passed away in 2018. On the OWC website they have a touching, succinct mention of their loss.

“It is still difficult to adjust to life without him.”

That is some true, heartbreaking love right there. Lucky for these bears, Jim and Susan have plenty of love to share and they are sure to take care of these bears with just as much love and affection as they did Jimbo.

Their instagram alone proves it with all the pictures of Jim cuddling these different bears!

It’s this kind of loving that makes the video so sweet but also hard to watch! The love and emotion are so real!

It’s really great seeing people who are so passionate and invested in their work! This is undoubtedly a labour of love with all the difficulties that come with running a center for orphaned wildlife.

But Jim and Susan, the only staff members at the center, seriously love all the animals they work with.

They’re like family.

The OWC website also offers information on the various other wildlife that can be found in the Otisville area, including bobcats, white-tailed deer, and yes, black bears!

Perhaps one of the most interesting species of bears that they house in the OWC is the Syrian brown bear! They were originally native to, you guessed it, Syria, but have since gone extinct in their native country!

Reintroduing the Syrian brown bear to its native habitat (across the middle east) would be a massive undertaking and would need someone with more influence and help than Susan and Jim, who are really just caring for and loving these animals while they need it.

If you’re worried about these bears being bred in captivity only to be put on display for the amusement of random strangers with no concept of the animal experience, you’ll be happy to know

these bears aren’t bred in captivity, nor put on display.

The OWC is a private facility where private tours can be taken, but it is not a zoo scenario which is often damaging to animal health.

Below is a blurb about the situation from the OWC themselves!

“The goal is to release all the animals, but in cases where they must spend their life in captivity we absolutely do forge a bond and a relationship with them. Most zoos or other wildlife centers can not do so because of the staff turnover. It takes a great deal of time for an animal like a bear to be accepting and trusting of you. But because our center is so small (just Susan and Jim mainly) we feel it is absolutely in the animal’s best interest to trust us.

“In this way if we have to move them from enclosure to enclosure, or if we have to handle them for medical treatment, injuries or examinations, we never have to rabies pole them, terrify them, or chase them with prongs to try to subdue, capture, or tranquilizer them. Bears also do NOT do well with tranquilizers. They often do NOT recover. So we mitigate the risk to them as best we can and having a relationship with them helps them to have a better life in the long run!”

These guys seriously love what they do and we need people like them doing it! It keeps the bears healthier and happier.

You can check out the video below to see Jim comforting big ol’ Jimbo for yourself. It is truly beautiful and seeing the love they share is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Orphaned Wildlife Center, Orphaned Wildlife, Orphaned Wildlife Facebook

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