Florida Black Bears

This EED is located at the Brevard Zoo’s Black Bear Habitat in their Wild Florida Loop. it has a freestanding motion sensor outside the habitat’s perimeter fencing. When the bears walk near and activate the sensor, the food/snacks will be scattered/blown into their habitat. This will encourage natural foraging behavior. This EED is custom made and handcrafted.

This video was taken after installing the EED while the zookeepers were with us.

Beary Exciting Update: April 19, 2022 – We delivered the EED to Brevard Zoo

Brody and Cheyenne were interested! Scroll through the photos below

Click this link to read Brevard Zoo’s Blog and view their video of the EED in action!


More views of the Bear EED, from the guest viewing area. The EED is located to the right of the big window

Getting Ready to deliver to Zoo!

Update April 10, 2022: We tested the EED with the 14ft “delivery tube” attached. The feeder is capable of dispensing various treats including: kibble, peanuts in the shell, and sunflower seeds. This will allow the zookeepers to use various food mixes for variety.  The controller allows three modes of operation; “Bear activated” (motion sensor), key fob (zoo keeper) activated or auto mode. The controller also allows for various amounts of food to be dispensed and has a built-in programmable delay. The delay is the time the EED is inactive after it is activated. The delay can be set at 1/2 minute up to 30 minutes. There is white LED indicator visible to the bears that lights up when the EED is active. The days we tested were very windy. There was a headwind, and the peanuts scattered the farthest, about 30 feet. The sunflower seeds scattered 5 to 10 feet.

We are READY to deliver this to the Brevard Zoo the week of April 18 !

Close up of food dispenser

April 10: Our friend, Lisa, assembling the EED using the first draft of the instruction manual.

testing the motion sensor

March 31, 2022 Test using the taller “delivery tube”.  Since the bear habitat perimeter fencing is tall, we had to design a way to get the food dispensed over the fence. This tube can extend up to 12 feet. The blower is housed in a sound suppression compartment.

Our first test of our prototype Brevard Zoo Black Bear Environmental Enrichment Device (EED)

Thank you, George, for “being the bear”

Please help us enrich the lives of animals (any amount helps):

Animal Enrichment Systems (AES) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit . We are 100% volunteer-operated, so all donations go directly to providing enrichment to the animals that need it.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

You can also help through your purchases on AmazonSmile at no cost to you:

Just go to AmazonSmile at smile.amazon.com and choose us, Animal Enrichment Systems Inc, and Amazon does the rest. They donate a portion of sales to our not-for-profit (at no cost to you).

Another view of the first test

“Beary” Exciting News

Location: Brevard Zoo, Melbourne, FL

We are going to design and build an environmental enrichment device (EED) for the Brevard Zoo’s Florida black bears!    The Brevard Zoo is home to two year old Brody and five year old Cheyenne.

Brody and Cheyenne (below) will be able to choose if they want to interact with their EED.  

This EED will feature a motion activated sensor that will turn on a blower that will scatter Zoo approved food and nuts into their habitat which will encourage their natural foraging behavior. More to come soon

Here is the remote-control motion sensor

This will be set outside the bear habitat fencing. The bears will activate the device by simply walking by the sensor.

Black Bear Environmental Enrichment Device (EED):
Location: ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Tampa, FL  

This EED is located in the Florida section of Zoo Tampa and when in use, is in full view of the public. Just look to the back fence of the bear enclosure and you may be able to see these intelligent animals interacting with this EED.

The enrichment device is be activated by the bears through an interface located next to the fencing of their environment, by their caretakers, or automatically by an internal timer. The bears get to make the choice to receive enrichment. When the bear presses the fence into the interface a food dispenser deposits a measured amount of food into a shoot and delivers peanuts into the environment. The EED can also be set up using air power to scatter nuts throughout their habitat promoting foraging behavior.

The EED has internal timers so after each activation it will turn off for a programmable period of time. This prevents the bears from just emptying the entire reservoir of food in a short time. LED indicators let the bears know when the system is active. When the LED’s are lit, the bears can get the treat. When the lights are off the system will not activate. This makes the bears use their thought processes to know when it is useful to press the fence into the interface to activate the system.

The outdoor device uses the same dispenser, but uses air power to scatter food pellets and seeds throughout their habitat promoting foraging behavior

Video: Curious bears investigating their new enrichment device (as seen in public viewing area) (turn up the sound)

This is a new feeder configuration that can be set up for use on either the black bear EED or the primate EED. This can dispense small seeds and shelled peanuts

We delivered the new feeders to ZooTampa in mid December 2020.

Florida Black Bear Facts:

The Florida black bear is a subspecies of the American black bear that has ranged throughout most of Florida and southern portions of Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Black bears are the only species of bear found in Florida. They are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. About 80 percent of a black bear’s diet comes from plants (nuts, fruits, berries) 15 percent from insects and 5 percent from meat (carrion: opossums, armadillos)

Black bears have good eyesight acute hearing and an excellent sense of smell that is believed to the best of any land mammal.  Adult male black bears usually weigh between 250 to 350 lbs. .  Adult female black bears are smaller than males, usually weighing between 130 and 180 lbs. In Florida, the breeding season runs from June to August and cubs are born around late January or early February.