Weekend opening set for expansion of North American Bear Center in Ely

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The North American Bear Center will have a grand opening for a new Northwoods Ecology Hall on Saturday. The expanded education and exhibit space in Ely, which cost $1.5 million, will add 8,000 square feet to showcase bear research to visitors.

The Center's Facebook page invites the public to a 2 p.m. ribbon cutting.

The Duluth News Tribune reports the expansion is part of the vision of Ely bear researcher Lynn Rogers.

Controversy has surrounded Rogers, the founder of the nonprofit facility, as his methods for studying bears have come under fire. But his desire for a larger center for visitors who want to learn more about wildlife in Minnesota's north woods has been without conflict.

"It expands the North American Bear Center into more of the world of the black bear here — the habitat, the animals they interact with. It's not just about bears; it tells about the other animals too," Rogers told the newspaper.

The expansion includes the Hope Learning Center, named for the bear cub Hope who millions began watching on the Internet in 2010.

The center, which first opened its doors in 2007, will also have an expanded exhibit that includes a replica of the northwoods habitat showing young and old forests and the changing seasons, with animals stuffed by taxidermists on display. In addition to a 10-foot aquarium, a terrarium houses snakes, turtles, frogs and salamanders.

At the time the expansion was announced, Northland's News Center noted many of the animals on display will be "experienced through a bear's perspective."

The habitat also includes the sound of the woods accompanied by photos and videos. In addition to a 10-foot aquarium, a terrarium houses snakes, turtles, frogs and salamanders.

“The worldwide attention we’re seeing is fantastic,” Ely Mayor Chuck Novak said on the center's Facebook page. “It’s a big boost to our economy having visitors here from all over the world.”

The grand opening of the ecology hall coincides with the annual Lilypad Picnic Weekend which takes place in Ely July 17-19. Hundreds of visitors pack Ely’s hotels, motels and restaurants for the event.

Next Up

court gavel

8 people charged in Medicaid fraud scheme totaling $860K

Collectively, they're charged with 46 counts of felony theft.

vaping

Minnesota gets mixed grades on its tobacco report card

In Minnesota, the economic cost due to smoking is $2.519 million with 5,910 deaths per year attributed to smoking.

Hardy Wills-Traxler

Charges: Man stabbed his father, set his home on fire

The 25-year-old has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Impound lot

Crowded impound lot raises COVID concerns after Minneapolis snow emergency

A vehicle owner complains about the tightly-packed impound lot following the weekend's snow.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, Jan. 27

The latest update from the state health department.

charley's

Charges: Bar owner, employee served underage drinkers during shutdown

The bar hosted 20-30 people on Dec. 4, 2020, charges say.

police lights

Driver wearing bulletproof vest strikes pedestrian in Rochester

The 21-year-old claimed the vest keeps him warm, according to police.

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 8.08.05 PM

6 men charged in connection to 'disturbing trend' of carjackings, shootings

The men are accused of three carjackings in one day, as well as other crimes.

YouTube TV, FSN

Report: Fox Sports North is becoming Bally Sports North

The rebranding will reportedly happen prior to the start of the MLB season.

walmart mask

Wisconsin Senate votes to end statewide mask mandate

The joint resolution now heads to the Republican-controlled state assembly.

Related