Gator drags child into water near Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World

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**UPDATE**

Disney Gator Sign

 

**UPDATE**  Disney has reopened beaches at their resorts that were shut down due to the gator attack on Lane Graves at the Grand Floridian Resort.  The park has installed rope and netting fences around the water to prevent people from getting into the water.

Disney has issued a statement and a photo in regards to new fences and signage being installed:

“We are installing signage and temporary barriers at our resort beach locations and are working on permanent, long-term solutions at our beaches.  We continue to evaluate processes and procedures for our entire property, and, as part of this, we are reinforcing training with our Cast for reporting sightings and interactions with wildlife and are expanding our communication to Guests on this topic.

– Jacquee Wahler, Vice President, Walt Disney World Resort.

**UPDATE**

Walt Disney World President George A. Kalogridis released the below statement this evening in regards to the gator attack at Grand Floridian:

“There are no words to convey the profound sorrow we feel for the family and their unimaginable loss. We are devastated and heartbroken by this tragic accident and are doing what we can to help them during this difficult time.

On behalf of everyone at Disney, we offer them our deepest sympathy.”

George A. Kalogridis,
President, Walt Disney World Resort


**UPDATE**  The 2-year-old boy was confirmed found by the Orange County Sheriffs Office Dive team at around 1:45 this afternoon.  The boy was identified as Lane Graves from Elkhorn, Nebraska.

“Of course, the autopsy has to confirm that, but there is likely no question in my mind that the child was drowned by the alligator,” Orange County Sheriff Demings said.

His parents were notified of the discovery and were identified as Matt and Melissa Graves.  A priest was on hand when the announcement was made to the parents.

“We’re going to make certain that we have the alligator that was involved, and that we remove it from the lake,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley said during the press conference.

Nick from the FWC also mentioned that “We’re going to make certain that we have the alligator that was involved, and that we remove it from the lake.”

Disney said in a statement that “Everyone here at the Walt Disney Resort is devastated by this tragic accident.  Our thoughts are with the family. We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement.”

Disney currently has a partnership with the FWC and dealing with alligators that are located within Walt Disney World property and are deemed a threat.

Disney has several “No Swimming” signs throughout the area but no signs warning directly of alligators.


**UPDATE** Sources report that the body of the 2-year-old boy snatched by the alligator last night has been found.

The Orange County Sherrifs Office updated the press at around noon today mentioning that they have more than 50 personnel working on the case.  The operation has switched from rescue to recovery to give the family closure as the search continues.

According to the OCSO, there are signs in the area that tell guests no swimming.

OCSO also mentioned that they will not stop searching until the boys body is found.

Walt Disney World has closed all beaches at their resorts until further notice.

Water transportation at Walt Disney World has been suspended as well.  Disney has added more buses to accommodate the shortage of transportation methods.  Monorail continues to run as normal.


UPDATE (6-15-16) – We’ve learned that the 2-year-old boy was on vacation with his family from Nebraska and arrived at the park on Sunday.

“The father actually went into the water to wrestle his son from the grips of the alligator,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said.

The boys 4-year-old sister was in a play pen about 30 yards from the water while the 2-year-old was wading in the water nearby.

The father tried to rescue the 2-year-old boy but was unsuccessful.

“The sad reality of it is it’s been several hours and we’re not likely going to recover a live body,” Demings said, adding, “We’re not leaving until we recover the child.”

Disney issued an official statement saying “Everyone here at the Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with the family. We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement.”

We will update this article with any new information throughout the day.

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting tonight that a 2-year-old child has been dragged into the water by a gator near the Grand Floridian Resort at around 9:30 P.M. this evening.

Reports were popping up on social media that police were taping off an area near the hotel earlier this evening and then Orange County Sheriffs Office made the announcement of the child being dragged into the water by the gator.  Deputies are currently searching the Seven Seas Lagoon area near the resort for the child.

As of this moment, the child has not been found and no word on whether the family of the child were guests at the Grand Floridian.

We will keep you posted as more details come in.  We will update this post.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest.




Author Description

Clint

Clint

Clint Gamache started Thrillgeek back in 2013 to share his love of theme parks, pop culture and other geeky stuff with the world. He can be found on Twitter @cgamache83