About the Center

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.

Helping the Bears

The privately-owned and operated Center is a not-for-profit association that seeks to help bears by:
  • Dispelling the myths and misconceptions that have led to the widespread, unnecessary persecution of bears.
  • Reducing human/bear conflict through education.
  • Providing positive educational and research opportunities.
  • Improving the lives of bears in captivity by serving as a high quality role model for bear housing and husbandry.

To observe the habits of black bears in a real-life atmosphere and to provide educational experiences about black bears for people of all ages.