Welcome to Bear Country USA!
Very few people have had a full-grown black bear look in the window of their family car, or if they have, it was not by choice. Even fewer have seen a reindeer or a elk up close. However, many people are getting experiences like these at Bear Country U.S.A. in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Nestled over 200 acres amidst towering pines and along rolling meadows just eight miles south of Rapid City, Bear Country U.S.A. offers visitors intimate views of most North American mammals. Visitors take a leisurely three-mile drive through several enclosures and encounter black bear, elk, reindeer, deer, cougars, bobcats, rocky mountain goats, bighorn sheep, dall sheep, pronghorn and buffalo.
At this “the home of the largest collection of privately owned black bear in the world”, Bear Country U.S.A. guests are guaranteed to see more than they bargained for. From the comfort of their own car, visitors watch as these clowns of nature frolic in a pool, climb trees and amble across the road in front of their vehicle.
Click below to learn more about our park.
Founder & Family
Doc Casey was born in Mitchell, S.D. He attended Carroll College in Helena, Mont., and graduated in pre-dental. He completed his dental education at Creighton Dental School in Omaha, Neb. Doc practiced dentistry in Rapid City for 30 years. After opening Bear Country U.S.A in 1972, he continued to practice dentistry on a limited basis. He retired from his practice in 1992 to devote all of his time and effort to the wildlife park.
Pauline Casey was born in New York City, and grew up in the Los Angeles area. She graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles with a degree in nursing. She practiced public health nursing with the Los Angeles County Health Department in the Watts District. Pauline came to South Dakota in 1958 working as a public health nurse with the Pennington County Health Department. She also practiced as a staff nurse with the Rapid City School System and as a nursing education assistant in public health with South Dakota State College.
Doc and Pauline married in 1959 and opened Bear Country U.S.A. in 1972. They have seven children: Kevin, Dennis, Brendan, Sean, Shannon, Michael and John. They also have sixteen grandchildren. Bear Country is owned and operated by Pauline, Shannon, Mike and John.
As a general rule, Bear Country U.S.A. cannot take animals from the wild. However, there have been some exceptions. Often a state Fish and Game Department will call the park because they have a young orphaned animal that will be destroyed if they cannot find a home. Bear Country U.S.A. can take these young animals because there is still time to expose them to humans. Several Bear Country residents come from these benevolent transactions.
Bear Country USA serves the greater Black Hills community on the premises by offering discounted admission for local school groups during the month of May.
Bear Country USA chooses to support area programs and organizations which benefit children and families in the Black Hills with both in-kind and cash donations.
Community organizations and events that we have supported:
- Rapid City Club for Boys
- Behavior Management Systems
- Childrens Care Rapid City
- Dream Night
- Spearfish Spartans Booster Club
- Black Hills Community Theater
- Youth and Family Services
- Rapid City Festival of Presidents
- Zonta Club of the Black Hills
- Rushmore Hockey Association
- Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Peace Officers Association
- Cobbler Kids Wrestling
- Muscular Dystrophy Association
- Rockerville Volunteer Fire Department
- Church Response
- KOTA Care and Share Food Drive
- Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
- Rapid Valley Volunteer Fire Department
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- March of Dimes
- Race for the Cure
- Little League Baseball in Rapid City
- Daisy House Rapid City
- SunCathers therapeutic riding academy
- Cornerstone Rescue Mission
- Humane Society Rapid City
- American Legion baseball teams
- Children’s Home Society
- Crazy Horse Memorial
- Love Inc Rapid City