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Black bear loose in Disney's Magic Kingdom park safely caught, relocated

Parts of the Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park were closed Monday as state wildlife officials investigated reports of a black bear in a tree on the property. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Parts of the Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park were closed Monday as state wildlife officials investigated reports of a black bear in a tree on the property. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Sept. 18 (UPI) -- A black bear that prompted the closing of parts of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Fla., on Monday has been safely captured and removed, state wildlife officials said.

Disney officials closed nearly half of the Magic Kingdom, including its Frontierland, Liberty Square and Adventureland attractions, after the bear was spotted in a tree early in the day. They were reopened after several hours.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials later said they had successfully captured the loose bruin.

"Biologists with the FWC's Bear Management Program, as well as FWC Law Enforcement officers, have safely captured the adult, female bear," the agency said in a statement issued to media outlets.

In most cases, they said, "it is best for bears to be given space and to move along on their own, but given this situation, staff have captured the animal and are relocating the bear out of the park to an area in or around the Ocala National Forest."

After the sighting of a bear in a tree, Disney closed parts of its Magic Kingdom theme park. The bear eventually was safely captured and relocated, wildlife officials said. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
After the sighting of a bear in a tree, Disney closed parts of its Magic Kingdom theme park. The bear eventually was safely captured and relocated, wildlife officials said. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

As fall approaches, bears become more active as they go on the hunt for food to prepare for their winter hibernation, wildlife officials pointed out.

"This particular bear was likely moving through the area searching for food," they said.

The bear alert shut down more than a dozen rides at the theme park, including such favorites as Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain and Haunted Mansion.

Aerial footage shot by WESH-TV in Orlando appeared to show wildlife officials capturing the bear and carrying a large black figure in a white tarp.