A black bear safely captured at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park on Monday has found a new home only a couple of hours away, and it’s perfect for her.
A female adult black bear has been a bit of a “world” traveler so far this week–if you’ll pardon the pun–as she was first spotted at Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, and today, she’s enjoying the comforts and familiarity of her new home in Ocala.
On Monday morning, initial reports of a black bear loose at Magic Kingdom led to the closures and blocking off of three of the park’s themed lands–Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square. As with any news story of this nature that involves the Central Florida Disney Parks, rumors and exaggerations about the actual sightings of the bear took on a life of their own.
One “report” went so far as to claim that the bear was found in a cave on Tom Sawyer Island at Frontierland, but the claim was never verified.
Cast members immediately went into action, blocking off three of Magic Kingdom’s six themed lands and closing down attractions that included Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, the Hall of Presidents, and the Walt Disney World Railroad, among others. The closures led to sky-high wait times for attractions and experiences in the parts of the park that were still operating as normal–Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Main Street, U.S.A.
Disney World management reached out to Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for assistance, and shortly thereafter, FWC officers and biologists arrived at the parks to help capture the bear and ultimately relocate her to a safe place.
At approximately 1:00 p.m., Disney World reopened the closed lands at Magic Kingdom, even though the bear was still in the park at the time. Then at 1:15 p.m., officers with the Florida Wildlife Commission were seen carrying a large black object in a white tarp and exiting the park.
Today, the city of Ocala, Florida, located approximately 90 miles north of the Walt Disney World Resort, has a new resident, as the adult female black bear that was captured on Monday at Magic Kingdom was safely released in the Ocala National Forest in Marion County, Florida, later that evening.
Video of her arrival was released by Florida’s Wildlife Commission on Tuesday, and we dare you to watch the short clip without falling in love with the smaller-sized adult bear as she exits the FWC vehicle and takes a quick look around her as if she’s saying, “Where the heck am I?”
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has shared video of the black bear that was found in a tree at Magic Kingdom being released in Ocala National Forest. pic.twitter.com/rvK09XJcg0
— Ashley Carter (@AshleyLCarter1) September 19, 2023
Two officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission can be seen atop the metal box carrying the bear to her new home. One officer bangs on the box to make a noise that encourages the wild animal to exit the vehicle. The officers can then be heard cheering on the bear as she runs away into the forest, “Good bear! Good bear! Go, go, go!”