The Central Florida Zoo recently broke ground on a new black bear habitat that will aim to teach guests how to coexist with black bears and other native wildlife. The habitat will initially be home to three rescued bears, and exhibit will feature a number of interactive educational components to teach guests messages about bear biology, their history in Florida, and how they can be protected for future generations.
The focal point of the new exhibit will be the “bear house,” which will include a number of video and interactive displays about bear conservation, such as how to keep food sources away from bears and thus reduce human-bear conflict.
The bears that will reside in the exhibit include an adult female that was rescued after she attacked a Seminole County resident in 2013, and two bear cubs that were rescued from a home in Georgia in 2014. The zoo stated that the exhibit will include additional space and holding areas to potentially accommodate more bears in the future.
The Central Florida Zoo hosts approximately 300,000 visitors a year, and the zoo plans to take advantage of its reach to both tourists and Florida residents to be a beacon of conservation education in central Florida. The zoo believes that the black bear habitat will be a perfect implementation of its mission to “be a conservation resource providing experiences that excite and inspire children and adults to learn and act on behalf of wildlife.”