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Bear captured at Magic Kingdom in Disney World after sighting in tree triggered closures

Posted at 2:48 PM, Sep 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-18 16:48:00-04

ORLANDO — Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have captured a black bear and were working to relocate it after the animal prompted Walt Disney World officials to close several rides and attractions at the Central Florida themepark.

WKMG-TV cited state wildlife officials and reported that the bear was seen in a tree near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland of Magic Kingdom.

Disney officials closed several of its park destinations in Liberty Square, Adventureland, and Frontierland, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Hall of Presidents, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Crusie, and the Country Bear Jamboree. Park officials, however, reopened the attractions around 1 p.m.

FWC officials dispatched a biologist and officers to the theme park.

"During the fall, bears are more active as they search for food to pack on fat reserves for the winter," the agency said in a written statement. "This particular bear was likely moving through the area searching for food."

They go on to say it's best to give the bear space to move along on their own, but in this case, they will work to capture and relocate the bear.

Officials urged people to never approach or feed a bear. "If you see a bear … give it space," the commission said.