Baylor Bear Habitat to Host Meet the Cubs Event

Guests are invited to block party-style event to welcome Judge Indy and Judge Belle to the on-campus Habitat

August 22, 2023
Baylor's American black bears Judge Indy and Judge Belle

Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media & Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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WACO, Texas (Aug. 22, 2023) – Baylor University is hosting a “welcome home” party for Judge Indy and Judge Belle – the University’s new American black bear cubs – at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)-accredited Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat. The block party-style event will be held at the Bear Habitat from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 26.

Commemorative Indy and Belle items, including t-shirts, coffee mugs, totes, pennants and stickers, will be available at this online store through Aug. 31, with limited quantities available for purchase at the event. A portion of each purchase will include a gift to the Habitat. In addition, individuals may add-on items that help support the care of Indy and Belle such as healthy snacks, milk meals for the cubs and enrichment toys.

Visitors to the Habitat will enjoy free access and family-friendly activities, including a live wood carving of the cubs, music, face painting, bounce houses, caricature artists and a lineup of beverage trucks, including Cha Community, Pop’s Lemonade and Kona Ice.

Officially welcomed to the Baylor Family in May, the acclimation period for Indy and Belle has been gradual and intentional, allowing ample time for the cubs to adapt to routines with their dedicated student caregivers within the Baylor Chamber of Commerce and their new home in the Baylor Bear Habitat.

The cubs began to test out their on-campus housing beginning in early August and are now full-time residents in the heart of Baylor’s Waco campus. Coinciding with the cubs’ move, Judge Lady, age 21, now permanently resides at the Bear Habitat’s newly constructed, private auxiliary facility where she will remain under the full care and attention of her Chamber caregivers and veterinary team.

With guiding pillars of stewardship, education and conservation, the Bear Habitat has cared for bears on campus since 1917. The construction of the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat in 2005 and the program’s AZA accreditation in 2021 were milestone achievements along the way to developing the Baylor Bear Habitat into a gold standard animal care provider.

The addition of Indy and Belle has built unprecedented excitement across the University, giving visitors even more reason to stop by the Baylor Bear Habitat. This tremendous responsibility carries a high financial commitment – one that would not be possible without the generosity of the Baylor Family. For more information about how to donate to the Bear Habitat and continue the legacy of this important Baylor tradition, and the conservation and education opportunities the bear program provides, visit


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.