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Becky R

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1 reviews

Review for North American Bear Center, Ely, MN, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

We just love the NABC !!

I've been to the NABC many times over the past 6 years - including summer 2018. When I say many times, we live in the UK, so we tend to visit Ely for about a week at a time - and within each week we probably go to the NABC 4 or 5 times.!!


The NABC provides a unique experience to read and learn about Bears - especially American Black Bears, as well as the nature that lives in the surrounding area.

Within the bear center, there are many exhibits and video clips showing things such as bear behaviour, vocalisations, food and misconceptions. There is a theatre to watch longer bear films, and the Northwoods ecology hall which has exhibits of other animals and habitats which are found in the surrounding Northwoods area. In 2018 there is a new exhibit on Dr Lynn Rogers, who has been studying black bears for over 40 years - and who set up the NABC and has provided many of the photo's there.

The highlight though of any visit is seeing the bears !. There are 4 Ambassador bears - Ted, Lucky, Holly and Tasha - each has some information about them in the center and then you can sit and watch/ view the outside area. (either from inside or outside). The bears rotate - so are not always out in the main enclosure - or if they are in the enclosure you may not be able to see them (its about 2.5 acres)- however there is 'enrichment time' when the bears are given enrichment treats and the NABC also offers a 'behind the scenes' tour where you walk to see which ever bears are currently in their own enclosures.

There is a 'beary' good gift shop to see on the way out - and leaving Ely doesn't mean leaving the NABC as the team have web cams in various locations that allow around the year live feeds from the NABC. The staff at the NABC are all friendly and knowledgeable - often volunteering for the roles they do.

The NABC provides facts and data to make you question some of the assumptions we all have about these wonderful animals. Definitely worth a few hours of your time...….. we hope to go back again soon.

Role:  General Member of the Public