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Baylor prepares to welcome new cubs to campus

Cubs Together 4.jpg
Posted at 9:19 AM, May 25, 2023

WACO, Texas — Baylor University is making preparations to welcome two new American black bear cubs to campus by the end of the summer.

Judge Indy and Judge Belle, 4-month-old cubs, are set to take the place of Judge Joy and Judge Lady in the Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat on campus.

The bears were rescued from a wildlife park in Idaho.

The university announced the arrival of Indy and Belle on Monday. The cubs are currently off-site as they acclimate to Waco and caretakers prepare the habitat.

Student caregiver, Abbie Wickham, is one of the first to meet the cubs and will be working closely with them.

"I cannot even describe the feeling of joy and surprise in that moment," Wickham said of her first interaction with the cubs.

"Meeting them was one of those moments that hit me like, 'This is one of the coolest things that I'm ever gonna do.'"

Lady, a 21-year-old black bear, is currently housed in the habitat, but will be moving to an auxiliary facility for the rest of her life after her sister, Joy, passed away last summer.

Associate director of student activities, Dakota Farquhar-Caddell, said work will be done over the next several weeks to ensure habitat is being "cub-proof".

"Anything that hangs over into the habitat, we'll make sure to trim out so they can't climb out and explore anywhere they're not supposed to," Farquhar-Caddell said.

The cubs are set to gradually move into their new on-campus home in time for students to return to campus in August.