Bear Habitat

A Tradition of Stewardship, 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.

About Our Bears

Many American Black Bears have called Baylor home since 1917. Judge Sue Sloan, known simply as "Lady," currently resides in the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat. Lady arrived on campus as a cub in 2002 and was named after then First Lady of Baylor, Sue Sloan, wife of Baylor's 12th President Dr. Robert B. Sloan. Upon Lady's arrival, she joined her sister Judge Joy Reynolds, "Joy," in the Habitat. A beloved member of the Baylor Family for 21 years, Joy passed away in July, 2022.


WACO, Texas (July 18, 2022) – Baylor University bear Judge Joy Reynolds, known simply as “Joy,” beloved sister of Judge Sue “Lady” Sloan and a cherished member of the Baylor Family for 21 years, passed away peacefully today surrounded by her loving and dedicated caregivers, staff and veterinary team.
They may not be blue-check verified on Twitter, but Judge Joy and Judge Lady – Baylor University's two American black bears who reside on campus in the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat – will make history as the first live college mascots to send a tweet on the popular social media platform.
WACO, Texas (May 12, 2021) – The Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat at Baylor University today announced its approval for accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the independent, international accrediting organization for the best zoos and aquariums.
WACO, Texas (Jan. 11, 2021) – Baylor University announced today that Judge Lady, one of the University’s two beloved American black bears, is progressing to the next phase of her recovery and rehabilitation from 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.

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 a.m. - 6 p.m.

(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

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

Chamber of Commerce Logo

Operated by the Baylor Chamber of Commerce

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Licensed by the USDA as a Class C Zoo