Aww!
Man plays hide and seek with 2 bears in cutest video
Grizzly bears are seen as ferocious predators, but not by everyone. Some see them as hide and seek partners!
Naomi Lai
06.19.20

Grizzly bears are some of the most terrifying apex predators on the planet.

Their only worry are humans, but we know they won’t hesitate to attack if they’re feeling threatened. We’re really more afraid of them than they are of us!

Anyone who’s been to the Rocky Mountains knows how important it is to take precautions to keep them away and avoid an encounter. Experienced hikers use bells and tightly locked food packs as prevention from attacks, and carry bear spray in case things get out of hand.

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Pexels, Photo Collections

But Jim Kowalczik, a retired corrections officer, sees bears in an entirely different light than the rest of the world.

Instead of a terrifying apex predator, he sees a big snuggle buddy.

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YouTube screenshot

He works at The Orphaned Wildlife Centre in New York State, where part of his job involves playing with massive Grizzlies and other bears.

Sure, some would say that’s a death wish, but Jim loves his job!

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YouTube screenshot

I can’t say I ever imagined myself hiding behind a tree from a Grizzly bear for fun, but it doesn’t look half bad. Though please don’t try this at home!

These gigantic fur balls don’t seem so scary when they’re playing hide and seek.

Or whatever cheeky game that other bear is playing – that’s rude!

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YouTube screenshot

If Jim hasn’t already, he should check out the documentary “Grizzly Man”. It’s about a bear-loving human who decides civilization isn’t for him and leaves it behind to live among bears. I don’t want to spoil it but… it doesn’t turn out so well for him.

But hey, he’s been doing this for years and still has all his limbs in tact!

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In recent years it’s become clear that some animal “rescue” centres aren’t necessarily as advertised. In high tourism areas like Thailand, elephants at “sanctuaries” are treated horribly so they can be trained to do tricks for tourists.

But this Wildlife Center in New York State takes their role as caretakers for orphaned animals very seriously.

“At the Orphaned Wildlife Center our goal is to provide safety and nurturing to animals that are truly orphaned and prepare them to be returned to a life in the wild. Through our efforts, we hope to encourage people to respect and enjoy our native wildlife. None of the animals are taught “tricks” or asked to do anything. They are simply members of our family.”

Orphaned Wildlife
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Orphaned Wildlife

So the hide and seek we’re seeing Jim play isn’t just some taught trick, the bears actually love to play!

But let’s be honest, who doesn’t? No matter how old you are, you’re never too old for a good game of hide and seek.

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They even play tag sometimes too.

Without the context, seeing a bear chase a man around a yard and jump against the tree he’s hiding behind would be alarming.

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Jim really trusts these bears more than I would trust most humans.

He doesn’t even flinch at putting his hand in a bear’s mouth! Those sharp teeth tear through meat like it’s nothing, but can be gentle when they want to be.

Trust like this is what we call true love.

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After a long day of running around and playing with two animals that could kill you, it’s time for some laughs.

Maybe it’s not just the fun and games. Is it possible that Jim has gotten so close to his Grizzly companions that he can actually communicate with them?

It looks like he’s just told them a hilarious bear joke!

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Watch the wild video below of Jim playing hide and seek and other games with his bear pals!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Naomi Lai
hi@sbly.com
Naomi Lai is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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