The mission of the non-profit North American Bear Center is to advance the long-term survival of bears worldwide by replacing misconceptions with scientific facts about bears, their role in ecosystems, and their relations with humans. People will not co-exist with animals they fear.
There is a huge need for accurate information about bears worldwide.
Bears have been unfairly demonized for centuries. Exaggerated perceptions of danger historically led to eradication campaigns using bounties, poison, trapping, and shooting. All eight bear species around the world are now listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered in all or portions of their ranges. People are now occupying remote habitats that once insured isolation and protection, and the attitudes of these people will determine the future of those populations.
THE BEAR CENTER
Great things await you inside!
A wall of windows overloooks the bear enclosure with its pond and waterfalls. Subtle background sounds of bears foraging cubs nursing, and birds singing fill the air.
High definition video footage of wild black bears, brown/grizzly, and polar bears, let people learn from the bears themselves. They include vocalizations, body language, mating, fighting, nursing, hibernation, care of cubs, exiting from the den, foraging for different classes of food, playing and weekly updated videos on bear activities in the woods around Ely. Many of the videos are based on Chief Biologist of the Wildlife Research Institute, Dr. Lynn Rogers' trust-based research methods which combine scientific observation with modern technology that reveal more about black bear life than was ever learned with traps and tranquilizers. Attitudes change as bears themselves refute our most deeply held misconceptions.
Ambassador Bears...Ted, Lucky, Honey, and Holly
The Bear Center is also home to our three ambassador black bears living in a 2.5 acre naturally forested enclosure with a pond and waterfalls. The bears forage on a variety of wild foods in the enclosure. The bear enclosure is a model for how captive bears live as natural a life as possible. Our staff and bear educators care for and work with the bears in many ways to enrich their lives.
The bears can be viewed from the inside viewing windows or the outdoor viewing balcony—both offer an excellent view of the pond and waterfall area that the bears frequent. People watch their interactions as they play, forage, swim, scent-mark, vocalize, climb trees, hibernate, and just be bears. In the process, these ambassador bears give viewers insights into the behavior of black bears that most could not see elsewhere.
The Cub Room
The Cub Room beckons kids of all ages to explore the world of black bears. Children and cubs learn by play and socialization. The Cub Room allows exploration by touch, and educational displays that can be manipulated and colored. The man-made den allows kids to act like bears and crawl inside and explore.
The Bear Center features a theater playing Dr. Roger’s research through his many documentaries including the BBC’s “Bearwalker of the Northwoods”.
Learn about trees, plants, wild bear foods, bear and animal sign while taking a casual walk on our quarter-mile interpretive nature trails. Trails are self-guided but guided walks occur throughout the day.
Bear Necessities Gift Shop
Shop our large selection of bear-themed merchandise and unique custom-made products. Enjoy the Northwoods Wildlife Gallery. Or when you get home visit our website at www.bear.org to purchase online.
Daily Programs & Events
Visit our website or call the Bear Center for the current list of programs. Ask about our Photographers' Special—a program that allows photographers an up-close photo opportunity with the ambassador bears. Telephone for more information about programs and events. Toll free877-365-7879.
Northwoods Ecology Hall...Coming Soon!
The recently completed 8,000 sq. ft. addition to the Bear Center will house the Northwoods Ecology Hall and Hope Learning Center. Exhibits will showcase the best of nature that the northland has to offer. Look for a 2015 Grand Opening!
Curriculum and Resources for Educators can be found at www.bear.org.
The North American Bear Center is a fully accessible facility.
Call for group rates (15 or more)
December and January - Will open for groups of 15 or more with 24-hour advance notice
218-365-7879 Toll free:877-365-7879