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Bear on the loose forces Disney World to close rides

Parts of Disney World in Florida were forced to shut down after reports of a black bear on the loose.

The Orlando resort’s Magic Kingdom closed a series of attractions after the bear was seen in a tree on Monday.

The animal was believed to be hunting for food ahead of the winter hibernation season.

Staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) were deployed to capture the adult female bear.


The FWC said its biologists, staff from its bear management programme and law enforcement officers, worked together to bring the bear to safety.

The agency said: “Staff have captured the animal and are relocating the bear out of the park to an area in or around the Ocala National Forest.”

In an earlier statement, the FWC said: “In most cases, it is best for bears to be given space and to move along on their own, but given the situation, staff are working on capturing and relocating the bear.”

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The wild animal sighting saw the temporary closure of attractions including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Hall of Presidents, Liberty Square Riverboat, A Pirate’s Adventure, Tom Sawyer Island, Walt Disney World Railroad including Fantasyland, Frontierland and Main Street.

A float with Peter Pan characters seen at the “Festival of Fantasy” parade at the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom in July 2022

Visitors to the theme park, described as the “happiest place on earth”, were left facing long queues as a result of the incident.

Frontierland, Liberty Square and Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park were reopened on Monday afternoon as the search for the bear continued.

Aerial footage is said to have shown a bear in a white tarpaulin sheet being carried by officials moving out of a wooded area, according to Sky News’ US partner network NBC.

The Walt Disney resort attracts millions of visitors every year
The Walt Disney resort attracts millions of visitors every year

In 2016, a toddler died after being dragged by an alligator into a man-made lagoon near the Magic Kingdom.

The two-year-old boy was paddling in a foot of water on a beach near the Seven Seas Lagoon when the animal attacked.

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The boy’s father tried to pry his child from the jaws of the alligator, which was estimated to be between 4-7ft in length, police said.


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