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“Good Start, Needs Improvements”

North American Bear Center
Ranked #1 of 34 things to do in Ely
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The North American Bear Center is the only educational facility of its kind - it helps people learn from the bears themselves about bear behavior, ecology, and their relations with humans. There is a huge need for accurate information about bears worldwide and the mission of the non-profit North American Bear Center is to advance the long-term survival of bears worldwide by replacing misconceptions with scientific facts about bears
Grand Rapids, MI
Level 6 Contributor
519 reviews
270 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 344 helpful votes
“Good Start, Needs Improvements”
Reviewed 17 May 2014

Lynn Rogers’ center is unashamedly based on the nearby International Wolf Center. That's not a bad thing, as the Wolf Center has an excellent layout and flow, but it leads to obvious comparisons. The newer Bear Center has a way to go to catch up to the development of the Wolf Center. The Bear Center has a nature hike (partially staged and partially natural), a viewing area for their live captive bears (who mostly slept while we were there), a children’s corner, numerous taxidermied animals, and a large section devoted to Hope, a bear made famous by Rogers’ collar tracking systems and cameras. There is also a large area devoted to articles on bears and debunking bear myths. While it is interesting, it’s not displayed in the best way and is just too much. They could par it down by half and people would read more and get more out of it. If you try to do any of that section with little kids, they’ll be done with it (and so will you!) in mere minutes. That’s where there’s a lot of room for improvement. Otherwise it’s a good concept, interesting overall, and a good way to spend a couple of hours or a rainy afternoon.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Beentheredonethat777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
1,359 reviews
675 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 502 helpful votes
“See them up close and in action”
Reviewed 6 March 2014

If you are in Ely you must come out here and visit.

It's a great chance to see the bears going about their day.

Have some myths busted and learn what to do if you encounter them in the wild.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank ThePackedBag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
73 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Worth visiting”
Reviewed 22 February 2014

The Bear Center was a little disappointing, especially compared to the Wolf Center. Part of the issue was the time we went; the bears are in hibernation and there is not much to see. We're still glad we went and we would go back - but during a warmer part of the year.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank jpwest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
“Very disappointing experience”
Reviewed 9 December 2013

I brought my Grandchildren and had to wait over an hour in a much less than busy establishment to be led back along an uneven trail to view bears in a cage. NOT WORTH your TIME or MONEY !

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Susan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincoln, Nebraska
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Bearly able to explain!!”
Reviewed 21 November 2013

We had a rare chance to get behind the scenes due to the fact that they had some construction going on at the time of our visit. We got to go to the bear cages and see how they interacted with the workers and experience the different personality's of the bears. We really enjoyed the visit and the place was very informative. I would suggest that you stop in and enjoy the bears.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank simplelife1762
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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