Black bears play an integral role in Mississippi’s rich cultural past, from the famous 1902 President Roosevelt hunt, from which the idea of the teddy bear toy was created, to the legacy of some of the greatest bear hunters of all time. Bears once roamed throughout the state and 3 subspecies are recognized: the American black bear, the Florida black bear and the federally threatened Louisiana black bear. Today, Mississippi’s black bear population is estimated to be only about 200 animals throughout the state.
Founded in 2004, the Bear Education and Restoration (BEaR) Group of Mississippi is a 501(c)3, non-profit corporation dedicated to conserving healthy populations of black bears throughout Mississippi. We do this through better education, sustainable solutions, and creative and respectful partnerships with landowners, agencies, educators, and the public. BEaR is governed by your friends, neighbors, biologists, industry personnel and fellow wildlife enthusiasts.
BEaR’s Objectives are to:
- EDUCATE: inspire cooperation and assist in educating all entities about black bears
- RESTORE: encourage, support and assist in the successful restoration of black bears in Mississippi
Are you a landowner who would like to know more about black bear management? Check out the Black Bear Management Handbook produced by our sister organization, the Black Bear Conservation Committee.
Want to learn more about bears?A biologist or educator is available to give presentations to youth and adults. With assistance scheduling a presentation or for more information, contact us at .
Let’s celebrate black bears in Mississippi! BEaR is working with the City of Rolling Fork to plan the 2016 Great Delta Bear Affair. For more information about the festival, call 662-873-6261.