Black Bear Habitat


Client: Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Garden

Location: Sanford, FL

Cost: $478,000

Size: 3,266 SF


Borrelli + Partners, Inc. was commissioned by the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Garden (CFZ&BG) to design a new 1 acre Florida Black Bear Habitat called “Living with Bears.” The project, which is partially funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, was developed to teach the general public how to safely coexist with Bears.

The habitat will feature two Florida black bears. Visitors will experience real-life instruction through the 720 SF “bear house” where they will learn from interpreters and educational graphics about the natural history of bears in our state, how to safely coexist with bears regarding proper ways to keep food sources away from bears, how to manage trash disposal, and what to do if one encounters a bear. The bear house includes a kitchen area, living room area, and garage area allowing visitors unique views on how bears often come into contact with humans. The bear house also features a pool in which bears can access as they often do in residential areas.

Back of house holding areas were also developed in compliance with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and AZA caging guidelines and include a 2,546 SF holding building with pool and dens. This education model is paramount to the CFZ’s mission: to be a conservation resource providing experiences that excite and inspire children and adults to learn and act on behalf of wildlife.

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