Alligator snatches boy in Florida
Police say an alligator dragged a small boy into a lagoon at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, defeating the father’s efforts to save the child.
The parents of a two-year-old boy tried desperately to pull their son from the jaws of an alligator that dragged him into a lagoon at a Disney hotel in Orlando, Florida.
The boy, whose name was not released by authorities, was attacked by the reptile at the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista near Orlando, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
There are no-swimming signs at the lagoon but the alligator grabbed the boy as he played at the edge of the water on Tuesday evening while his family, on holiday from Nebraska, relaxed on the shore nearby, sheriff’s spokesman Jeff Williamson said at a news conference.
Child taken: An alligator seen here in a file picture. Photo: Wolter Peeters
The boy’s father rushed into the water after the alligator struck and struggled to release his child from the alligator’s grip, Mr Williamson said.
“The father did his best,” Mr Williamson said. “He tried to rescue the child, however, to no avail.”
The father suffered minor cuts on his arm in the struggle, Williamson said.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Google Earth
A lifeguard on duty also was unable to reach the boy in time, he said.
“He was too far away, apparently, and the gator swam away with the child,” Williamson said.
Walt Disney World has closed its beaches as law enforcement officials hunt for signs of the boy Wildlife officials captured and euthanised four alligators from the lagoon to examine them for traces of the child after the Tuesday night attack but found no evidence they were involved, said Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, on Wednesday.
More than 60 sheriff’s deputies and wildlife officials were expected to search for the boy on Wednesday, using sonar technology, helicopters and divers.
Disney has closed its beaches “out of an abundance of caution,” CNN reported, citing a Disney spokesperson.
Sheriff Jerry Demings told reporters the alligator was thought to be between 1.2 and 2 metres long.
Alligators are not uncommon in the Seven Seas Lagoon, a man-made lake reaching 4.2 metres in depth, Wiley told reporters.
Williamson said he hoped daylight would help searchers, who were hindered by dark and murky waters during their overnight rescue attempts.
“We’re going to keep searching until we find something,” Williamson said.
A spokeswoman for Walt Disney World Resort said everyone there was devastated by the tragic accident. “Our thoughts are with the family and we are helping the family,” she said.
Intact Body of 2-Year-Old Boy Recovered After Alligator Attack at Disney Resort
The body of the 2-year-old boy snatched by an alligator at a Disney resort in Orlando has been recovered. The body of Lane Graves, who was visiting the resort with his family from Nebraska, was “completely intact” when it was found by a dive team Wednesday afternoon, Orange County Sheriff’s Jerry Demings said. Police and a Catholic priest delivered the heart-breaking news to the boy’s parents, Matt and Melissa Graves, who were visiting the resort with Lane and their 4-year-old daughter.