NORTH AMERICAN BEAR CENTER

Rating: 4.68 stars   120 reviews

Issues:

Location: P.O. Box 161 Ely MN 55731 USA

Mission: The Need for the Bear Center: Bears have been unfairly demonized worldwide in folklore, print, movies, and taxidermy. Generations have been raised to fear them or perceive them as economic risks. All 8 bear species are now listed as vulnerable, threatened, or endangered in parts or all of their ranges. Black bears, the most numerous species, are listed as threatened or endangered in 5 states but are expanding in the Upper Midwest and northeastern United States. There is a worldwide need to replace myths with facts, teach practical methods for minimizing conflicts, preserve habitat, and stop poaching for body parts. The need for accurate information becomes ever more urgent as more and more people move into bear habitat.
Target demographics: Bears world-wide
Geographic areas served: Ely, MN and all around the globe
Programs: The North American Bear Center is the only Science/Nature museum of its kind. Dedicated to replacing old myths with facts, it lets people learn from the bears themselves about bear behavior, ecology, and their relations with humans. In addition to our onsite Learning Center, you can view our three Ambassador Bears, play in our Cub Room, watch films in our Theater and walk along our Interpretive Trail. From the comfort of your home, you can watch two live video feeds of our bear viewing area and learn and participate on Lily the Black Bear's Facebook page. In addition, our Educational Outreach Program supplies comprehensive bear / nature curriculums and materials for K - 12th grade teachers across the country.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

This is my third year of volunteering for the North American Bear Center and I plan to continue! What a wonderful place! Everyone is friendly and informative. They are dedicated to educating the public about the North American Black Bear and coexisting with them. Dr. Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield do amazing work..... Love them!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The bear center is the place to be to learn all about the center bears and the research bears!! Made my trip there last yr and I loved every minute of it! Every one should go in there life time! You will not want to leave. Very nice volunteers that work there and there is so much more to learn..Please mark this down on your list of things to do!!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I would like to say a few words on my experience going to Ely this yr for the Lilypad picnic..At first when we made it to the Bear Center to sign in for our name badges. I meet some of the Lily fans signing in an then when I walked into the Center I could not believe my eyes how Beautiful it was in side an to meet all my FB friends on Lily's wall was so uplifting an every one was very friendly an so nice to be around, Then I saw Doc walking in the door an I got the biggest bear hug from the bear man himself an it was a joy to finally meet him an meeting Mrs. Donna Rogers she is a sweet heart in an out an we talked about having Doc put some food on Pat's tree for Lucky to climb up but she said that Doc told her the bears were on a diet we laugh an then I saw Lucky coming an got over 375 pic's why I was there..At the picnic it was truly amazing an then I bough some tickets an had my Daughter Lisa put in the jar for the Ground Breaking Shovel with Doc an Donna name on it..My Daughter said mom they are calling the number for the shovel but i was doing something an then they called my name an I had tears in my I was so excited to win the shovel that started the Ground Breaking for the Hope Center...My visit to Ely was the best thing that ever happened an I hope to come back again..I say it's the best place to visit and I would recommend every one to visit Ely Minnesota in your life time. A wonderful place..Sheryl Keller

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change it for the world!!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I have not been to the north american bear center but would love to see Ted-Honey-Lucky, And to see all the nice things that the center has to offer.And i have been learning all that i can about black bears with the help from Dr.Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield.I think it is wounder full to keep others educated on these beautiful animals.The more we learn the more we all understand the way these bears live.And help in the misconceptions of these beautiful animals.And I own it all to Dr.Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

As soon as you walk in the doors to the NABC, you will see many smiling faces eager to answer any questions, and to guide you through the many exhibits that are at the center. These folks are eager to educate all visitors and not just information on the black bear, but a wide variety of creatures as well, polar bears, wolves etc. You will not regret your visit to the NABC!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't change a thing. The NABC has a wonderful, talented, and knowledgeable staff. The center is filled with information, videos, and so much more about black bears/bears, information that you will not find anywhere else. This is a first class organization.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

17 people found this review helpful

The North American Bear Center has a wealth of information, but we have so much more to learn. Even Dr. Rogers will tell you after over 44 years of research, he does not know everything about black bears. A visit to the NABC in Ely MN will be well worth your time. Please support the new Education Building. Every little bit helps.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have followed the work of Dr Rogers and Sue Mansfield of the NABC and the WRI in Ely, MN. I have to say they have changed my entire view of the North American Black Bear. Learning about how they live, what causes them to react to many things, and how to deal with being around a black bear, is so great to know. I do not fear them, but I respect them as Dr. Rogers says, he teaches how to co-exist , yet in the realm of things he teaches how to hunt as well in a way that is most humane. Wonderful place to see, wonderful place to learn.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

add more den cams, so seeing how they live in the wild prepares us for an encounter, and having more classes that teach about the North American Black Bear.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have volunteered for years for this wonderful organization, I have learned so much, and help to educate people on the importance of co existing with our wildlife, in this case Black Bears. I respect the work and dedication, Dr Rogers and Sue Mansfield have done. The hours of work, and more than 250 volunteers make this a wonderful place to visit and learn.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

That the DNR of Minnesota allow the research to continue, it is to important to lose.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

As a volunteer I am so looking forward to my visit to the NABC in 2014. I can't wait to see the resident bears,Honey,Lucky,and Ted. The addition of Holly Bear in December is so exciting,and I can't wait to see how she reacts to her new "friends". I have been following the research of Dr. Lynn Rogers,and Sue Mansfield for four years now,and have learned so much about the North American Black Bear through their education,and webcams,and will continue to support them 100%.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

GREAT place to visit. i was there in 2013 an will go again in 2014. the bear center has brought me back to journeys to ELY,MN after many years of not going there. NABC has given me a MAIN REASON for going again. TED, LUCKY, an HONEY are so interesting to watch an enjoy. the addition of HOLLY bear in DECEMBER gives added incentive to visit. ALL the bears are greatly loved an cared for.

ANY negative comments in reviews are by a couple people with personal vendetta against NABC an people who support the organization. please ignore their untruths.

i have donated to NABC an will continue to.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

nothing to change except for me to support them an promote them more.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

great organization teaching the world about bears. been there 3 times an always love watching the 3 resident bears, TED, LUCKY, an HONEY. many videos showing bears in the wild from birth on. have supported NABC since i saw the birth of a black bear cub named HOPE. will continue to support them an get bear education out to the world. while at the NABC, i always hear foreign languages since it draws tourists in an i always see them enjoying themselves there. hope to visit them yearly now !

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been supporting NABC since 2010 since I found out about them via a tv report. Ive been there in 2010 spring an saw in person what a great place it is. I will continue to support them an their bear education. Its great to see the resident bears Ted, Lucky an Honey in their 2 1/2 acres. Bit even greater is seeing the videos an educational material on the wild black bears near ELY,MN. The black bear is a very misunderstood animal and NABC is showing the truth about the everyday life of them. On a sacle of 1 to 10 i give them an 11.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Been to NABC a couple years ago. It was a great learning experience. the educational value to learn about black bears is a 10 out of 10. they have 3 bears in a great 2 acre plus enclosure. it is worth the time to visit an enjoy Lucky, Ted, an Honey the 3 resident bears.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

ive been to the center an met the resident bears, ted, lucky an honey. ive also followed the research bears since the first den cam. its been a very educational an fun learning experience. i knew very little about black bears, even though i had contact with them near ely, minnesota. i have supported an will continue to support both the north american bear center an wildlife research institute in their bear education to the world.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

This is a wonderful place to take you family for a visit a learn all about the black bear .

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not change a thing the NABC is doing a wonderful thing with their new changes with the Hope Learing Centre

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have been watching the Ted, Honey and Lucky now for 5 years from the pond chat at NABC , This is a wonder place to learn about the black bears, and they also have a wonderful gift shop. ..

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change a thing .. The NABC have been making changes that is a great thing ..

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

Under new management, very poor experience! We waited for over an hour to see a bear only to eventually find out they were locked up away from visitors view. Walking around the few exhibits we had questions but no one there could answer them. $38.00 for 4 of us, definitely not worth the money.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hire knowledgeable people. Do not keep the bears locked up in small enclosures.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 1 stars  

In 2013, The bears are now locked up in small cages all day long. But when I visited in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and all 3 bears were visible if you stayed for more than an hour. The bears now look depressed and angry . Why ?
The new staff does not appear to know how to run the place. The have scripted answers for your questions, and it feels like a museum. They call it a museum now, and ignore the needs of the resident bears.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get some new staff and a new Bear curator.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 3 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I rate them a 3-1/2. Well first off, I rarely rate anything with the "highest" or the "lowest". To make it to this list it shows me that the organization has worked hard, but there is always room for improvement. If someone gives them a "1" it shows me that it is a disgruntled employee (past or present) or unfortunately a visitor that talked to an employee that day that probably shouldn't be working there. And if there is a "5" rating I question that because there is "always" room for improvement and I wouldn't want to close the door by the "5". All corporations have these problems.
I visited in September 2011 and found they were going through "growing" pains and employee changes. However, the bears were well taken care of and the employees I encountered were polite and professional, even though it was an emotional day for them with "Hope".
Now with the new cub "Holly" they will face even more challenges and people that won't agree with them. However, I believe their number "1" focus is the bears and they are trying to improve their life and surrounding forest. It is important for people to realize these are wild animals that are not able to return to the wild because of humans. We must remember they are not pets and try and give them a surrounding they might have had in the wild. Takes time and patience. Let the professionals do that and outsiders can learn from it.
They do need help on their live "chat" pages. Unfortunately it is difficult for the moderators to determine who is actually interested in learning about the bears or trying to create an unstable chat room.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I am no professional but I would limit the chat rooms on certain hours. We can watch live cams and get just as much enjoyment. They have regulars and it can be difficult to chat if you are a new comer. Not sure how they could correct that other than limiting the hours. Social networking can be helpful in fund raising but also harmful because there is no way of monitoring "fact" from "fiction" with comments.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?