Update 2:44 p.m. EST:
According to the FWC, the bear has been captured and released outside of Disney property.
"In most cases, 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."
Disney was dealing with a hairy situation on Monday morning after a bear was spotted on Walt Disney World Property in the Magic Kingdom.
Social media reports broke the news early on Monday as guests were turned away from certain sections of the park, namely Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) eventually confirmed the reports later in the day, writing in a statement that it was aware of a black bear on Disney property and that the bear was reportedly seen in a tree.
“Biologists with the FWC’s Bear Management Program, as well as FWC Law Enforcement officers, are on scene. In most cases, it is best for bears to be given space and to move along on their own, but given this situation, staff are working on capturing and relocating the bear,” the FWC said.
“During the fall, bears are more active as they search for food to pack on fat reserves for the winter. This particular bear was likely moving through the area searching for food.”
Some social media users claimed that the bear was seen on Tom Sawyer’s Island in the park, a fairly wooded section, but Disney didn’t confirm.
Disney later on Monday afternoon said it made the decision to reopen the closed sections after talking to the FWC, though it acknowledged that the bear was still on site, along with FWC officers who were working on capturing and relocating the bear.
While some might be alarmed about being on-site with a black bear, the animal is not known for its aggression. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, a department that regularly deals with bears, “black bears are rarely aggressive” and “actual attacks by black bears are rare.”
“Although bears are large and powerful animals, a wild…black bear is normally shy and scared of people.”