By Mark McConville
A HUGE Kodiak bear is so attention-seeking he cannot let his human pal sleep for a moment.
Incredible footage shows the 1400-pound, ten-foot-long bear playfully biting and licking his friend on the shoulder to grab his attention.
The video shows the man laughing and sticking his whole fist in the bear’s mouth before petting it, which seems to satisfy its urge for attention.
The footage was taken at the Orphaned Wildlife Center in Otisville, New York and shows Jim Kowalczik (59) playing with Jimbo the bear.
“Jim and Jimbo play together every day,” said a spokesperson for the centre.
“To have these bears is to love them, and it is important to have a good relationship with them. Jimbo and Jim are good buddies and Jimbo loves to play with Jim.
“Jimbo came to Jim and Susan (Jim’s wife) as a young cub after another wildlife centre closed down. He has lived with them for more than twenty-two years and is just a part of their family.”
Susan grew up with bears her whole life as her father was a biologist and zoologist specializing in bears and he raised bears as well at their home. Jim married into their big bear family and seems to have fully embraced it.
“The Orphaned Wildlife Center is a rehabilitation centre,” said the spokesperson.
“Our main goal is to rescue orphaned animals, help them along until they can fend for themselves, teach them survival techniques and release them back into the wild.
“Any animals that cannot be released because of injury or other issues, are provided lifelong sanctuary here at our centre.
“We believe that animals can share emotions and feelings and form lasting friendships with us. It’s important to treat them with respect.
“None of the animals here are made to do anything. They are not taught tricks or forced to do anything they don’t want to. Their life here is a life of peace and we provide for them as if they were our children.”
The Orphaned Wildlife Center relies on donations to cover the costs of their eleven bears who consumer around 30 pounds of food a day.
For more information, please visit www.orphanedwildlife.org.