Bear Habitat

A Tradition of Stewardship Through Education and Conservation

The "Patron Saint of all Baylordom," the Bear has served as the Baylor Mascot since 1914 when students selected it over the Buffalo, Antelope, Frog, Ferret, and Bookworm.

Meet Our Bears

Many American Black Bears have called Baylor home since 1917. Our current bears, Judge Joy Reynolds (Joy) and Judge Sue Sloan (Lady), are biological sisters. Joy arrived on campus as a cub in 2001 and was named after the wife of the 11th President of Baylor, Dr. Herbert H. Reynolds. Lady arrived as a cub one year later and was named after the wife of the 12th President of Baylor, Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr. Lady's nickname comes from Mrs. Sloan serving as the First Lady of Baylor.


Be sure to check your mailboxes as we get closer to the fall semester. In the weeks ahead, we will start mailing mandatory COVID-19 test kits to all students, faculty and staff.
Starting off with some good news this week: You may recall that in December, one of our beloved black bears, Lady, underwent a first-of-its-kind treatment, called Tomotherapy, for a thymoma in her chest. Last month, Lady underwent a check-up from her veterinary team who came to visit her in Waco. The team took images of Lady’s chest and have reported that the Tomotherapy treatment is successfully managing the size of the mass – it has not grown.
WACO, Texas (April 20, 2020) – Amid the shelter-in-place mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic, diligent student caregivers in the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat, a Class C Zoo, have maintained world-class supervision and protection of the University’s black bears, Judge Joy and Judge Lady.
WACO, Texas (Dec. 11, 2019) – Baylor University announced today that Lady, one of the University’s two American Black Bear mascots, is undergoing an innovative, noninvasive radiation treatment for a benign cranial mediastinal mass, or thymoma, in her chest. The tumor was found during a routine wellness examination with veterinarians at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

Our Home

Bill & Eva Willams Bear Habitat

Baylor students, school groups, and campus visitors frequently visit Joy and Lady’s home at the Bill & Eva Williams Bear Habitat, a facility heralded as one of the most visited spots on campus. The Habitat welcomes an estimated 250,000 visitors per year, including over 5,000 children visiting on educational trips for schools, camps, etc. The Bill & Eva Williams Bear Habitat is fully accredited by the United States Department of Agriculture as a Class C Zoo, and the license is renewed annually based on adherence to standards of care and facility maintenance, demonstrated during random and rigorous inspections by the USDA. We look forward to seeing you soon!

M.P. Daniel Esplanade
Waco,TX 76706

9:30 AM - 8:00 PM

(Hours are subject to change
due to weather and special events.)

Connect With Us

(254) 710-3322

Bill & Eva Willams Habitat
M.P. Daniel Esplanade, Waco, TX 76706

Baylor Chamber of Commerce
Bill Daniel Student Center (SUB) basement
1311 S. 5th Street, Waco, TX 76706

Joy and Lady Bear
One Bear Place #97185, Waco, TX 76798

Operated by the Baylor Chamber of Commerce

USDA Licensed Class C Zoo