A wild bear spotted at Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort, reportedly there in search of food, has been safely captured.
Sightings of a wild bear at Magic Kingdom on Monday morning stunned cast members and guests and resulted in the closure of three of the park’s themed lands–Adventureland, Frontierland, and Liberty Square. The areas were closed and then blocked off in an effort to keep guests and cast members, as well as the bear, safe until officers with Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) could arrive to survey and address the situation.
Officials with the Wildlife Commission confirmed that the bear was seen in a tree on Disney’s property on Monday. They are working to relocate the bear with plans to release her in or around Ocala National Forest following her capture by biologists with the commission as part of the FWC Bear Management Program.
Sightings of the wild animal prompted the closure of three of Magic Kingdom’s three lands, as well as several attractions, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Country Bear Jamboree, The Hall of Presidents, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Pirate’s Adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean, Swiss Family Treehouse, Tom Sawyer Island, and the Walt Disney World Railroad.
Just before 1:00 p.m. ET, Disney World made the decision to reopen Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Adventureland though the bear had not yet been removed from the premises. Approximately 15 minutes later, officers were seen carrying a large black figure in a white tarp. The animal was not harmed and will be relocated to an area near Ocala National Forest, less than two hours away from Disney World.
“In most cases, it is best for bears to be given space and to move along on their own, but given this situation, staff are working on capturing and relocating the bear. During the fall, bears are more active as they search for food to pack on fat reserves for the winter. This particular bear was likely moving through the area searching for food.”