North American Bear Center

Rating: 4.68 stars   120 reviews

Issues: Animals, Arts & Culture

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.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

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.

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2014

 
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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 !

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2013

 
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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

 
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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.

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2012

 
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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.

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2010

 
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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.

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

So exciting for the educational bldg. and Holly the bear cub this year! Everyone will enjoy it!
Susan999 was dissatisfied with the viewing arrangements on her trip there this month and gave a 1 star. I hope we all can talk her into coming back again in the summer. The bears will be out and enjoying the pond and land.
The antics of the new cub will be priceless! Maybe the Bear Center can give Susan999 a discount.
I guarantee she will have a better experience.
I have learned so much about bears in the past couple years. Many more years of learning to come!

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2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The North American Bear Center and the Wildlife Research Institute have studied the black bears of the Minnesota north woods for 40 years. Their innovative approach to working with bears without tranquilizers or invasive means has allowed them to see bears in their natural habitat and in their relationships with other bears and their own cubs. The den cams allowed, for the first time, researchers and the world to rejoice in the birth of Hope on camera. She was later murdered by a human predator. The Hope Learning Center is in her honor. This is an OUTSTANDING organization that is truly a Great Non profit and deserves the support of all who enjoy wildlife.

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

Shut down the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (Do Not Research) for their efforts to limit and close down the successful activities of the North American Bear Center.

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

This organization opened my eyes to the wonderful world of black bears. I had always respected them, but NABC has educated my family and me about how the intelligent and peaceful bears are. This research group is absolutely wonderful and I have never been associated with such a highly respected organization. I am very thankful for all the wonderful work they & I know God is blessing them.

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

I would not make any changes to the organization, but I wish I lived in Ely, MN so I could work for them.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The North American Bear Center is great non-profit providing valuable information to learn how to co-exist with these beautiful bears. I have learned more about black bears from NABC than anywhere else. The three bears at the center are loved and well cared for by a dedicated staff. I would recommend anyone who has an interest in wildlife and ecology to visit the center or their web page at www.bear.org

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

The North American Bear Center is a wonderful place. I've spent hours there watching videos of the wild bears living their lives. The exhibits are beautifully done and very informative. Love the one that shows all the different kinds of seeds found in a bear's scat. When you want to take a break from the exhibits you can spend time looking at the beautiful pond, maybe one of the resident bears will come by. The NABC does so much to educate people about black bears.

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2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have learned so much about the North American Black Bear because of this organization. education and entertainment and now I have a deep understanding and incredible love for this majestic and often misunderstood animals.

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Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

A total waste of money. they never use the money as stated.

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

a total makeover of staff and direction.

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No

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2012

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

For 3 solid years, they highly encouraged all the followers to donate to Nutsonlie for Ted Lucky and Honey! They gladly accepted our donations, but they failed to mention that all those donations went directly to the Wildlife Research Institute instead, for feeding the wild bears in the research areas. The curator and staff at the NABC at the time, had to buy nuts at the local feed store in town with their own money! Deception at it's finest!

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

Bring back the original curator that raised Lucky since he was a cub! Lucky and Ted have been overly confined in their enclosures for various reasons, too numerous to count because the current staff are not able to handle them like the original curator could! Ted Lucky and Honey seem lethargic and depressed since they got RID of the original curator!

Was your donation impactful?

No

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No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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