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  • We're one big bear family!

  • [Beast buddies.]

  • [Our big bear family.]

  • Our bear family is like every other family and stuff, you love them to death, but there's other times they drive you nuts, right?

  • Jim and Susan run a centre for orphaned wildlife in Otisville, New York.

  • I'm there every day, but he is the one that walks in the door and everybody lights up.

  • You know and it's kind of funny, because they just love him to death.

  • C'mon, go inside or get out of the way.

  • And I'm the one that does all the work and he just has to walk in the door.

  • This is Jimmy, a 21-year-old Kodiak bear rescued from a closing wildlife park.

  • He's just one of the eleven bears that lives with them.

  • They'll knock you around a little bit and stuff, nothing, you know, not maliciously, you know, but you gotta watch you don't get scratched or poked in the eye or something.

  • You know better than that, what're you doing?

  • It's all right.

  • They could kill you, you know.

  • He'd just have to hit you one time.

  • Kodiak bears are one of the largest species in the world.

  • He's about 1400 pounds and if he stood up on you on his hind legs, he'd probably be about 9 feet tall.

  • Think the strongest person you know or whatever and you can magnify that by a thousand times.

  • Yeah, he's big!

  • I mean, a small bear will kick your butt and he's got so much strength, all he would have to do is lay on you.

  • He's like them, he's like a bear.

  • He has no, no fear of them, it's really amazing!

  • We've had Jimmy for 21 years now, got him as a little cub and he's been with us his whole life.

  • Taking care of bears throughout their lives means that Jim and Susan develop deep bonds with the animals.

  • Is it the same as like someone who is mourning their child?

  • Yeah, it's, you know, it's the same thing.

  • We spend a lot of time with them, we care so much for them.

  • We lost four altogether so far here.

  • Would be just like burying one of your family members.

  • I can't do this!

  • Back at the center, it's lunchtime.

  • In the wild, these bears need to eat up to 90 pounds of food every day.

  • Everything from baby elks to spawning salmon, berries and plants.

  • You guys ready to eat?

  • And here the bears enjoy a daily diet of meat, grains, breads, fruit and veg, with the occasional marshmallow treat.

  • These bears once in a while, they're always looking for food, they really don't want for anything other than attention.

  • One of the other bears at the centre is Jenny.

  • When the bears are little and they're with their mother, after they drink their milk, they'll suckle on her for a time and they, they make this little noise that you hear.

  • She just never grew up, she still does this.

  • She looks at me as if I'm her mother.

  • When she gets to the pinky, she likes to just bite down on that pinky.

  • I love being around her and I'm happy that she feels that way about me still after all these years.

  • Oh peanuts? Alright, some peanuts.

  • It's all a wonderful thing to watch them grow up and... and to have them from very little and, and to make an impression on them.

  • They're like your children, that's how much you love them.

  • And they give a lot back to you too, you know they, they love you just as much.

  • Sometimes you take it for granted, but it is a special relationship.

  • Yeah, the bears are everything to me.

  • I, I would do anything for them.

  • I spend all day with them every day.

  • This is our life and we're one big bear family!

We're one big bear family!

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A2 US bear family susan pinky wildlife centre

Our Big Bear Family

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    lauren.huang posted on 2020/03/22
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