Jimbo the 9-foot Kodiak bear passes away after 20 years of family life

What do you do when your 1,400-pound (approx. 635-kilogram) bear just needs a warm hug? Well, of course you give him cuddles! Most wild animals could never be tamed—but this lovable hunk was one of a kind.

Jimbo the huge Kodiak brown bear was born in captivity. He was injured, and Jim Kowalczik knew he could never be returned to the wild when he decided to take him under his wing as a cub.

Mama bear brushing Jimbo. (photo by Dawn J. Benko Photography) This weeks interesting questions (for previously asked…

Posted by Orphaned Wildlife Center on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

When Jim and Susan Kowalczik founded the Orphaned Wildlife Center in Otisville, upstate New York, in 2015, Jimbo would spend the rest of his life there with them.

He kept company with another 11 bears at the sanctuary. They would all be released into the wild once they were healed of their injuries. Some had survived collisions with cars; others had become orphans when their mothers were killed.

The couple treated Jimbo as part of the family, and Jim was often photographed playing with the affectionate bear, or perhaps the two would just sit relaxed together as friends sometimes do.

When Jimbo began to feel out of sorts, last February, a visit from the vet did little to help him, and the cause of his discomfort was unknown, though it was later found to be cancer of the liver.

Kisses for dad. Jimbo and Jim have been together for 23 years – since Jimbo, our 1400 lb kodiak bear, was just a cub. A…

Posted by Orphaned Wildlife Center on Sunday, February 19, 2017

Jim and Susan could be seen trying to cheer the 24-year-old brown bear up by giving him cuddles, and just talking to him.

Then, sadly, big Jimbo passed away the following month, and both Jim and Susan suffered from indescribable grief, finding it hard to come to terms with their loss. He had been part of their family for more than 20 years.

We just wanted to let you all know that Jimbo is doing poorly again. If you are a religious person, please pray for him….

Posted by Orphaned Wildlife Center on Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Jimbo truly was an extra-special bear, and his passing will be felt by many others as well for a very long time.

Bears like that only come along once in a lifetime, if you are lucky.

This cuddly big bear will never be forgotten.

Watch the video below:

Bear appears to be playing hide and seek with man—but look what’s stuck on the animal’s head

 
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