North American Bear Center

About North American Bear Center

The North American Bear Center is the only black bear and wildlife educational facility of its kind. Dedicated to replacing old myths with facts, people learn from the bears themselves about bear behavior, ecology, and their relations with humans.

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

The Bear Center is home to our four 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. 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 be seen elsewhere.

Our Northwoods Ecology Hall features the many animals that black bears encounter in Northwoods habitats and includes the history and values of those habitats. Exhibits include a 660-gallon aquarium, terrariums with local reptiles and amphibians, a majestic bull moose mount, woodland caribou mount, and a 40-foot wildlife exhibit showcasing over 35 mammals and birds in seasonal habitat settings.

We offer a variety of programs daily. We take regular tours out to see the bears up close, so our visitors get a very special and personal experience with the bears. Other programs highlight our small critters, Northwoods ecology, our nature trail, and much more!


Bear Educator Intern

May 2022 - August 2022 Ely, MN
“Getting plenty of hands-on experience in captive wildlife care and being able to educate people about them”

Educational Intern

May 2018 - August 2018 Ely, MN
“Great experience, very hands on, learned a lot. ”
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