The FWC says a black bear spotted at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has been captured
Lake Buena Vista, Florida – An adult black bear that found its way into a tree near Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has been captured, forcing more than a dozen attractions, rides and lands to temporarily close, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
In an updated statement Monday afternoon, the FWC said biologists and law enforcement “safely captured” the bear — an adult bear and a female.
No additional details were immediately released about where the bear was captured, its condition, or how it was roaming Walt Disney World property.
The bear will be transported to or around the Ocala National Forest in Marion County, Florida, which is about 90 minutes north of the Walt Disney World Resort, the FWC said.
The bear was reportedly spotted Monday morning in a tree near the Magic Kingdom, according to an earlier statement from the FWC. Several areas and rides on the west side of the Magic Kingdom have been temporarily closed, including parts of Adventureland, Frontierland and Liberty Square.
Several popular rides were also closed briefly, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
These areas and flights have since reopened.
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“The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is aware of a black bear reported in a tree on Walt Disney World property in the Magic Kingdom. Biologists with the FWC’s Bear Management Program, as well as FWC law enforcement officers, are on hand to at the scene. The FWC said in a statement early Monday.
“In most cases, it is best to give the bears space and move on their own, but in this situation, staff work to capture and move the bear.”
Walt Disney World confirmed it is working with the FWC in its own statement:
“We are working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and have made the decision to reopen Frontierland, Liberty Square and Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park.”
What rides at Disney’s Magic Kingdom were closed because the bear got stuck in the tree?
Although it is not unusual for an attraction or ride to stop unexpectedly throughout the day – whether for maintenance, weather, refurbishment, or some other reason – it is unusual for multiple attractions to be closed at once – and… Shortly after the theme park opened. for this day.
Several Magic Kingdom attractions and rides were initially closed, most located inside Disney’s Adventureland, Frontierland and Liberty Square, according to the My Disney Experience app.
Most of these rides and attractions began reopening shortly after 1 p.m. As of 3 p.m., all rides were open, except for the Walt Disney World Railroad. It remained closed.
Screenshots from Walt Disney World’s “My Disney Experience” app show several attractions and rides listed as temporarily closed.
Bears in Florida: Tips to Know
Just last week, the FWC issued a news release reminding residents and visitors that black bears become more active as fall approaches. During the fall, black bears eat more to increase their fat stores before winter.
Adult bears need to eat approximately 20,000 calories each day in the fall, the FWC said. Bears can be opportunistic and can find easily accessible food, such as bird feeders, unsecured litter boxes, or outdoor pet food.
“Any accessible food source, such as unsafe garbage, pet food or bird seed, could attract a hungry bear to prepare for winter, potentially drawing it into conflict,” Mike Orlando, FWC’s bear management program coordinator, said in a report. with people”. Prepared statement. “However, if the bears do not find a food source in the neighborhood, they will move on.”
Here are some tips to remember:
- Never feed or approach bears
- Securing food and garbage
- Remove or secure bird feeders
- Never leave pet food outside
- Clean and store grills
- Alert your neighbors if you see a bear
FOX 35 News has been reporting on what appears to be an increase in bear sightings this year, and according to the FWC, the numbers bear it out. So far this year, the agency has received more than 531 bear calls in Orange County. That’s more than all of last year, which saw 490 calls.
Although numbers for 2021 and 2020 were not available on the FWC website, there were 373 bear calls throughout 2019 and just under 200 in 2018. See more on the FWC’s interactive public bear map.
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