The Sanctuary

Thousands of people visit the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary every year to view and learn about black bears, their behavior, habitat needs and life cycles. Visitors also get the opportunity to view a special group of wild bears that come to this location every summer, from an elevated platform.

Nestled in the North Woods of Minnesota, the Sanctuary is located approximately two hours northwest of Duluth. The nearest town is Orr, which is about thirty minutes away. Encompassing some 500+ acres, the Sanctuary consists of a combination of habitats: aspen forests, cedar swamps, marshes, beaver ponds, a primary stream, open meadows and numerous other resources.

In addition to being a seasonal home to a large number of bears, this habitat is also used by an abundance of other wildlife including whitetail deer, bald eagles, beavers, mink, pine martens, fishers, timber wolves, red squirrels, bobcats, blue jays, owls, ducks, songbirds, ravens, and a variety of other species. While black bears are the primary focus, the various habitats of the Sanctuary are managed in a manner beneficial to the entire ecosystem.

The permanent establishment of the Sanctuary has preserved a unique opportunity to view and to photograph the intimate world of the normally reclusive black bear. The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary also provides a most extraordinary setting for a variety of non-obtrusive scientific studies and educational programs relating to the diverse natural resources found within its boundaries.