ORLANDO, FL—Explaining that the decision was deemed necessary to protect the health and safety of park patrons, officials at Disney World announced Wednesday that they had been forced to euthanize a character that attacked a visitor over the weekend. “Obviously, this was an unfortunate situation, and we do everything possible to prevent such incidents; however, our policy clearly states that when a character threatens or injures a guest, we have no choice but to put him or her down,” Disney World spokesman Don Milhiser said of the encounter in which the Dale character in the Frontierland portion of the park became defensive during a meet-and-greet and viciously clawed a 9-year-old visitor. “He’s very protective of Chip, and we think the girl just approached a little too quickly for a photo. We considered relocating Dale to a different section of the park, but we couldn’t risk this happening with another guest, especially in light of last year’s Eeyore incident.” Disney World officials closed their press conference by reminding visitors to avoid any sudden movements, maintain their distance, and refrain from making direct eye contact with any of the characters.
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