Behind the Scenes banner
Cheetah Pepper explores her new habitat.

Pepper is easy to spot in her new habitat!

You should be able to “spot” a new animal resident in our Rainforest Revealed loop!

Nearly 14-year-old cheetah Pepper has been moved to one of our three jaguar habitats as work begins to transform the space she previously occupied in Expedition Africa into our permanent lion home. You can now find Pepper in the Rainforest habitat just after our black howler monkey spaces.

Our jaguar Masaya can now be found in the nearby habitat across from our squirrel monkeys.

We hope our permanent lion home in Expedition Africa will be complete in 2023. Once the lions move, their Wild Florida space will be modified to house a native species.

Pepper’s animal care team trained her to voluntarily enter a secure carrier ahead of this move. She quickly learned that yummy treats awaited her inside!

To help Pepper acclimate to her new home, her Expedition Africa keepers were there to help during the move. One of her new Rainforest Revealed area supervisors has also been working with Pepper to get to know her beforehand.

According to Curator of Animals Chelsea Herman, Pepper has always enjoyed investigating new things.

“We anticipate she will have a great time exploring her new space,” Chelsea said.

Years ago, this particular habitat was modified with platforms and steps that are easy for a geriatric animal to navigate safely. Pepper, who is considered geriatric for her species, has enjoyed sitting on top of one of her den boxes to people watch in her Expedition Africa habitat.

“We hope she will enjoy the platforms in her new habitat just as much,” Chelsea said.

We know it may seem strange to see a cheetah in our Rainforest loop, but this move will help our Zoo continue to expand and give Pepper a habitat more fitting for an older cheetah. We’re dedicated to providing our animal residents lifelong care – and we look forward to watching Pepper check out her new space. We hope you do too!

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.