From the diagram

allow acceleration =0

sum F = 0

upthrust = weight

Row

_{water}*g*Volume

_{displaced}= mass*g

64*g*[V - 0.5 ] = 1600*g

V = 25.5 ft^3 = Volume of solid (bear)

My assessment of your question:

Now, what I did was take mass = density X volume and I got v = 25 cubic feet.

So you are saying the Volume bear is 25 ?

your mistakes are:

1. assume density of bear as density of water

2. use of formula mass = density*volume without the correct context

If I put an 8 cubic foot block into water or hold it above in the air, the volume doesnt change. It's still going to be 8 cubic feet. right?

your mistake is

1. lack of a diagram to help you visual and understand the problem

suggestion:

look at the way i solve the problem, do you see why i use

[V - 0.5 ] = Volume

_{displaced} ?