An alligator attacked a two year old boy Tuesday night in front of his parents at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando, Florida. The toddler is still missing. Reports state that the boy and his father were near the water’s edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon when and alligator grabbed and pulled the boy underwater. The father attempted to rescue his son by attempting to pry the alligator’s mouth open. The mother also jumped in to save her son. Both parents alerted a lifeguard who called 911. The attack happened just after 9:20 p.m. as the resort was hosting a “Movie under the Stars” event.
Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission search teams, assisted by Disney boats, launched a search and rescue mission. Throughout the night the search included helicopters, sonar teams, marine units and alligator trappers. Five alligators were pulled from the lagoon during the search which were euthanized to determine if they were involved in the attack. So far there is no evidence that the alligator involved is one of the five caught.
Alligator attacks do occur in Florida each year so much so that Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission keeps statics on events involving alligators biting humans. In 1986 a 10-year-old boy was attacked by an alligator in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. That boy survived as a result of his brother and sister hitting the alligator until it released the boy.
Although Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort has multiple “No Swimming” signs posted around the lagoon, there are no signs warning guests of alligators. The boy was not swimming, which is a tragic indication that Disney’s signs do not provide sufficient warning of the danger of alligators lurking in the waters near lagoon beaches and shorelines. Disney’s decision not to post alligator warning signs is in stark contrast to the nearby Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress resort which not only posts no swimming signs but also posts signs warning of alligators in its lake. Resorts like Disney have a duty to warn of hidden dangers lurking on its property.
We are saddened by this tragic incident and our thoughts are with the boy’s family.
Photo Credit: Orlando Sentinel