Bears have a mind too, and the MSU Museum has brought theirs to life through the world of social media.
The museum’s most famous attraction, which stands about 10 ½ feet tall and weighs 14,000 pounds, now has a Twitter account that story tells the life of a bear.
Director of MSU Museum Mark Auslander said this is the largest brown bear in any museum in the world and “because everybody loves it so much, we thought we should create a Twitter feed.”
The museum is known for its motto “where science and culture meet,” but students are now joking that it will be where science and culture tweet.
The big brown bear has been a part of the museum since 1983 and it has since become an informal mascot that visitors remember most.
"A lot of people already know about the bear," Co-ordinator and Co-manager of the Twitter project Max Evjen said. "It’s kind of a fairly beloved animal here that we have.”
Although the Twitter account only has about 82 followers, according to Auslander, they’re hoping to reach more undergraduate students.
History senior Erik Rujan, who’s behind the account, says he started as a marketing and communications intern at the museum and later became the voice of the bear on twitter.
“I try to put myself into the brain of what a living, thinking bear would try to articulate if given the ability to use the English language, mostly correctly, and if given a small audience on Twitter,” said Rujan.
Rujan says the Tweets are a mixture of living in the museum, being interested in the natural science surrounding bears and a healthy love for salmon.
“I really want the Twitter account to first of all be worth following, and have it be actually entertaining,” he said.
Auslander said some museums use social media to teach things and spread information about science but their museum doesn’t want to do that.
“We want to build community, we want to build social connections,” Auslander said.
According to Evjen, this Twitter account is specifically targeted at MSU students.
“The short of it is that I want MSU students to know there is a science & culture museum here at MSU and I want them to come in and check it out,” Rujan said.
The museum is also looking to name the bear, and they're accepting submissions in an upcoming poll at @MSUMuseumBear.
“We’ll have some fun with it,” Auslander said.
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