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Central Florida Zoo new bear exhibit set to open

2 Florida black bear cubs on display

SANFORD, Fla. – A new black bear exhibit opens soon at Central Florida Zoo highlighting the Sunshine State's backyard wildlife.

Two black bears will be on display, playing in the yard of a simulated home meant to mimic the way people and wild animals might cross paths.

"You're visiting these bears as if you're in your home, and we have staff on site all day long to help you learn how to take your garbage cans in, how to close your garage doors and why that's important," zoo President and CEO Dr. Phillip Flynn said.

The exhibit has tips and interesting bear facts placed all around the home, where you watch the sibling 3-year-old cubs play through the windows. The bear cubs, Guinard and Ella, were seized when a group tried raising the abandoned cubs like pets.

Florida Fish and Wildlife bear expert Mike Orlando hopes the zoo partnership will remind people to enjoy the animals from afar, but never feed or play with them. Doing so can endanger everyone, including the animals.

"There is a line, and if you cross over the line, sometimes it's not only bad for the animal, but it can be bad for the people, too," Orlando said.

The new exhibit in Sanford opens Aug. 1 with limited hours as the bears get acquainted to the display.