Bear Update


Judge Lady, one of the University’s two beloved American black bears, received some good news in early January, moving into the next phase of her recovery and rehabilitation after a successful operation to remove a cyst that developed around her spinal column. The surgery occurred in August 2020 at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) in College Station.

Under the loving watch of her caregiver team, Lady, 19, has steadily progressed through the first few phases of her recovery plan primarily in the privacy of her personal living space within the Bill & Eva Williams Bear Habitat, a Class C Zoo regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture.

The marked improvement of Lady’s health, strength and mobility allows her to move to the next phase of recovery — a gradual return to the public portion of the Baylor Bear Habitat for additional rehabilitation sessions. 

Her physical therapy has included the use of small “hurdles” that encourage strengthening muscles in her rear legs and a hay bale “maze” that encourages lateral movements. As always, specialized enrichments keep her brain stimulated and encourage these natural habits and activities.

After Lady’s health progresses to a suitable mark, both Lady and her sister, Joy, 20, will return to a normal routine in the public portion of the Habitat.