2900 East Sell Street Wausau, WI 54403
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Tours are available by appointment only, either by phone of via their website below. The Wisconsin Black Bear Education Center is a not-for-profit private sanctuary presently housing three black bears. The bears are allowed to roam freely throughout the six acre center which features a fresh water waterfall and pond, natural vegetation for foraging, open meadows and numerous hibernation dens. The Center is dedicated to encourage its resident bears to use their natural instincts to live normal lives in order to provide close observation for learning purposes. This concept makes it unique to Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Black Bear Educational Center was founded by Jeff Traska, a lifelong outdoorsman and reformed sport hunter who has been fascinated by bears since childhood. In the early 1980s, armed with state-of-the-art camera equipment, Jeff began his own personal study of black bears in the wild. He soon learned that bears are not the highly dangerous animals portrayed in so many sensational news stories, but instead are intelligent, gentle animals who play a critical role in the functioning ecosystems they inhabit. Jeff Traska's passion for bears eventually led him to provide a home for his first bear named Vince. Over time, Vince's modest enclosure expanded into a spacious, natural compound now heralded as one of the best in the region. Vince has since been joined by two younger bears, Sunny and Moon, and all three enjoy a quality of life seldom experienced by bears in captivity.
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