There is no substitute for the bond that exists between a mother and her offspring.  Survival skills are passed down from generation to generation, and in an ever-changing world, the need to preserve nature’s delicate balance has never been greater.

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.

About Us:

Starting the Orphaned Wildlife Center had been a dream of ours for years, finally being incorporated in 2015.  Although we have been licensed wildlife rehabilitators since 1996, it was our experience with a young, injured black bear in 2012 that became the inspiration to start the Orphaned Wildlife Center.


The story of his recovery is both amazing and inspiring, and it is because of him that we decided to focus our time on expanding our facility to better help young animals in need.


We have 11 bears of varying species living on our property. They are part of our Educational Program. Out of all of our life’s experiences, the time that we have spent in the company of our bears has been the most rewarding. Our unique relationship with them is based on endless trust and caring. We have known them all of their lives, and we will always remain committed to them.


There is no more dedicated mother than the mother bear. Her babies are born in the dead of winter and weigh only one pound. It is only through her vigilance that they survive. There can be no greater sorrow for a baby bear than to lose their mother. It is a great privilege for us to offer an orphaned cub safety, nurturing and a chance to return to the wild.


Susan Kowalczik

Susan has worked with bears all of her life. For her, the bears always come first. In 1992 she met Jim and in 1995 they together started Bear Country, an Educational Exhibit.

Jim Kowalczik

Jim is very honest and sincere in his relationship with the bears and they love him for it.  He is a retired corrections officer. He currently works in excavating.

Kerry Clair

An IT specialist for 20 years, Kerry left Wall Street to manage and grow a nonprofit, no-kill animal sanctuary, retiring in 2012, and now joining with us to run the Orphaned Wildlife Center.

More Information about OWC:

Susan and Jim (to the left of Jimbo) are married (to each other) and have been taking care of wildlife and bears for a very long time. They own and live on the land and property where all the animals live ... and they do ALL the daily care and maintenance. There is no other staff, and this is truly a labor of love.


These animals, especially the bears, are not a job. The permanent residents here are truly like their children and are treated and cared for as such.


Kerry (to the right of Jimbo) does all the admin work - Facebook, website, financial and fund raising. She has been friends with Jim and Susan for many years and last year when we decided to become a 501(c)3 she joined in the venture.


While we love to show you pictures of our permanent residents - because we love them so much and they are such wonderful animals - our true mission is to rescue and release animals BACK to the wild. That's what we want to see - these wonderful animals get a little help - and then get back out where they belong!


Thank you for your support and for all your help and kindness! Your comments on our Facebook posts and your happiness at seeing our animals has meant a lot to us !


The animals here are amazingly well cared for by people with exceptional knowledge and compassion.


I couldn't be more impressed by how the entire facility was set up for the comfort of the animals, and mimicking natural habitats whenever possible.


I'm so relieved that there is such a sanctuary and rehabilitation center in our area. It is wonderful to have a place to bring animals in desperate need.


I've always had a love of bears and wildlife and I'm so glad they have a beautiful place like this to land, get back on their feet and then head back into the wild.