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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Services, Animals, Arts & Culture, Museums, Wildlife Sanctuaries

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 myths and misconceptions 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 four 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 and North American Bear Center Facebook pages. In addition, our Educational Outreach Program supplies comprehensive bear / nature curriculums and materials for K - 12th grade teachers across the country.

Community Stories

65 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering for this organization a few years ago. I had been following them for several years prior to that and decided that I wanted to be a part of this team, in whatever manner i could..
What I've found is that people all over the globe volunteer for this organization.These people give their time for a company that is striving to educate everyone on the scientific research information that comes from years of study.
Working with all of these wonderful human beings is such a great experience and I have learned so much from being a part of this amazing group of people. Information that was learned from my childhood has proved to be false, which gives me much knowledge to continue to grow as a person.
I strongly advocate for the North American Bear Center (NABC) and hope you find this information useful and give them a 'look'.. One of the links for more knowledge is: http://www.bear.org/website/
Their 'sister site' for additional information is: http://www.bearstudy.org/website/

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the best things I ever found was the bear.org site for the NABC.I have always loved bears- Smokey Bear was my favorite book- so when I saw on the news that a bear was going to be born live on camera I tuned in and was hooked on this place. I waited and waited for days - setting my alarm hourly during the night to check if a cub had arrived yet. Then watching and hearing the new cubs was amazing. Watching them grow was amazing and the information that I learned and the old myths that were dispelled kept me coming back for more and more . Then I was asked to volunteer as a moderator. It has been one of the best experiences I have had. I can't say enough about the level of education the NABC provides to anyone interested in learning. From the cub room for the youngest visitors to seeing the live bears up close on a behind the scenes tour to learning and sharing on the chat page for those too far away to visit. You know they are doing something right when you have guests and volunteers from all over the world. People fly across the ocean to visit family- see New York and other popular destinations but to have world travelers make The North American Bear Center their destination speaks volumes about how wonderful the NABC is

5 Lisa589

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone there is so inviting to answer any questions, the staff are amazing. Its a great place to learn not only about black bears but other wildlife.

6 Grace45

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I were able to drive up to Minn from Alabama to visit the Bear Center a couple years ago, we had been watching the den cam's in the wild and at the center before that, was over joyed to get to meet the staff and see the bears at the center in person. Since that visit they have done many more updates and improvements to the center, it's still on our bucket list to go back again. I have had the joy of being included as one of the online chat mod's for the bear center and have learned so much from the staff, other mod's, Doc and the researchers. I even won a personal phone call from Doctor Rogers, that was like a phone call from our own kind of Rock Star :) or should I say Bear Star, CrittersRUs

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an exceptional educational facility devoted to teaching the truth about black bears. The Northwoods Ecology Hall focuses on the other animals they must co-exist with in Northeastern MN. They have 4 resident Ambassador bears . Hourly programs are offered to see these bears close up. Worldwide podcasts daily for additional learning anywhere in the world. Numerous exhibits, videos, pictures and documentaries for additional indoor learning. Knowledgeable staff to answer all your question. A must see if you are in Northeastern MN.

3 Anita58

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This year was my 6th annual trip to NABC from the UK. Each year I have seen improvements have been made. Apart from the bears who are always a joy to watch, there is always so much to learn. Not just about bears but all wildlife of the Northwoods. The staff are always very welcoming and so helpful, always willing to stand and talk to you and answer any questions. And this year the outside has a stunning new entrance - especially seeing it at night it really catches the eye. This year there was another new bear to get to know - Tasha - a little cutie. But it was sad that dear Honey had passed on due to old age - she was a much loved bear. She has been laid to rest near the carpark with lovely tributes. It is good to know that the bears are so cared for and loved even when they have passed. I will certainly be going back next year and will look forward to it. And in the meantime I am so glad to be a volunteer, which I have done since 2011.

5 SmittenbyBears

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for three+ years with this remarkable organization that strives to replace misconceptions with facts about the true nature of black bears. I love visiting the Ely, MN Center, a truly one-of-a-kind facility. It's a treat to see the four magnificent ambassador bears that help people learn from the bears themselves. I have learned so much from the wealth of interesting exhibits, articles, photos and videos and the engaging staff that provides wonderful care for Ted, Lucky, Holly and Tasha. Even at home, I am able to visit virtually every day through the Center's live webcams and chats. The North American Bear Center, by carrying out its mission to advance the survival of bears worldwide, is helping people learn to co-exist peacefully with black bears and I am grateful to be part of that!

5 Sheryl K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I had the most enjoy able time visiting the North American Bear Center in Ely a few yrs back for there Lily Pad Picnic! A great place to take the family and u get to see Ted, Lucky, Holly, and now Tasha! Please make a trip there it is beautiful and the people are so bear friendly!

Previous Stories
5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!!

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2 Terri86

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the four years that I have volunteered for the North American Bear Center, I have witnessed unwavering dedication to bears. Not only has the NABC added extensively to its physical facilities, but all involved work tirelessly to involve the worldwide public in observing and learning about bears through live webcams and numerous outreach resources including speakers and materials for educators and groups. Drawing on the researchers' many decades of data, as well as their own experience, staff members are bursting with knowledge about these fascinating creatures and are just bursting with excitement about sharing it.

5 Mike196

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer moderator who moderates chat on the live cameras of the NABC website. I came across NABC in 2010 watching a bear in the wild give birth in her den on camera. I was fascinated with bears before so that was wonderful seeing the birth and growth of a cub. Then I learned that the biologist and researcher, Doctor lynn Rogers, who placed that camera in the den also walked up to awake wild free bears in the forest and placed tracking collars around their necks. That seemed impossible and frightening to me. I had to find out more . i found out that much of what I "knew" about black bears was wrong. NABC is dedicated to educating people about what the real nature and tendencies of black bears (and to a lesser degree other bear species) in the hopes that truthful researched and published scientific facts about bears will help us to coexist with them to the greatest extent possible. Replacing myth and irrational fears with facts is seldom a bad thing so I volunteered to help in my small way. Ive had almost entirely good experiences from this and I am better off in the ways that are easier to feel than to describe or put numbers to from interacting with the wonderful people involved with "our" bears.