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A Florida black bear

Happy Februbeary! We’re celebrating our Florida black bear trio – Betty, Brody and Cheyenne – this month! While we don’t know their exact birthdays, Florida black bears are typically born in January or February while their mothers are denning.  

To celebrate our trio, we wanted to take you back through our journey with these bear-y special residents. 


Age: 2 years old 

Her Story: In April 2022, months-old Betty was found alone by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Bear Research Program members while they were inspecting dens in the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. When her mother did not return to the den within 48 hours, FWC made the decision to bring in the young cub for human care at our Zoo. While she was slated for rehabilitation and a return to her natural range, rambunctious Betty lost her fear of people and became a permanent resident of our Zoo instead.  

Appearance: The smallest of our bear trio right now, Betty has some longggg ears (that maybe she’ll grow into!).  


Age: 4 years old 

His Story: In February 2020, weeks-old Brody was found alone by a member of the public on a dirt road in Ocala National Forest. When his mom couldn’t be found, FWC officers reached out to our Zoo to help care for the abandoned cub.  

Brody had a long road ahead of him health-wise, from dealing with nursing issues as a cub to ongoing mobility issues, but he’s now a healthy, happy adult black bear who is always happy to see his adopted mom, Lauren; his new bear friend Betty and any large sticks that he comes across.  

Appearance: It may be surprising when you look at old baby Brody photos, but he has grown into quite the sizable male Florida black bear! After he peaked at 461 pounds this winter, it’s easy to tell Brody apart from our smaller ladies. Still, if the extra fluff isn’t apparent, Brody has a more angular face.  


Age: 7 years old 

Her Story: Cheyenne came to us at about 20 months old after getting used to being fed by people. As the first black bear at our Zoo, Cheyenne has helped our animal care team learn a lot about this species. Cheyenne was the first of our bears to show signs of wanting to hibernate for the winter, leading our team to build bear dens throughout our bear complex. Depending on the time of year, Cheyenne can be found nestled in her den, perched up a tree or just exploring one of her habitats! 

Appearance: Cheyenne has a round fluffy head and ears! 

Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.