In a serendipitous turn of events for Country Bear Appreciation Day, a genuine adult female black bear made an unscheduled visit to Magic Kingdom without a pass. This surprise guest led to the temporary closure of 10 attractions and half of the park this Monday. Thankfully, this whimsical tale has a heartwarming conclusion!
The Associated Press reported that Liberty Square, Adventureland, and Frontierland areas of the park had their opening postponed until 2 p.m. following the bear’s removal. This task was managed by the combined efforts of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and local law enforcement.
An FWC spokesperson commented, “It’s generally advised to allow bears their space and let them move independently. However, considering this unique situation, the team aimed to capture and relocate the bear.”
Bears increase their activity during the fall as they prepare food for winter hibernation. “The bear was likely roaming the vicinity in its quest for food,” was shared by an official, as cited by WESH.
In the end, the bear was successfully captured by the workers and safely transported out of the park, wrapped in a white tarp, as shown in aerial footage from NBC Miami. The animal will be moved to a location in or around the Ocala National Forest. The forest is approximately a 90-minute drive north of Disney World.
The FWC recently released a video depicting the black bear, previously captured at Walt Disney World, being reintroduced into the Ocala National Forest’s wilderness.
Drawing attention to past incidents, Disney has escalated its wildlife management measures since a tragic event in 2016 where an alligator claimed the life of a 2-year-old at the Seven Seas Lagoon beach.
As stated by The Mirror, while the annual removal of alligators was around 23 before 2016, the figures have seen an uptick, with over 33 alligators removed each year after the incident. This indicates Disney’s heightened commitment to protecting visitors against potential wildlife threats.