Alligators were a known presence at the Disney lagoon where a 2-year-old boy was snatched this week while he was playing near the shore of the lagoon, according to a report by The New York Post. The boy’s body was found underwater Wednesday by a search team.
“Officials admitted that the dangerous animals are ‘routinely’ removed from the grounds — and that Disney even has its own wildlife-management team — yet the signs at the Seven Seas Lagoon, just across from Magic Kingdom Park, warn only against swimming and about deep water and steep drop-offs,” The Post reports.
A grounds worker at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in the Orlando area, where the boy, Lane Graves, was snatched, is quoted in the story saying: “There’s gators in the lakes and lagoons here.” He noted that the animals don’t often come onshore, but added: “You should not go into the water.”
Said another resort employee: “There is such a problem on property with guests feeding the alligators thinking it’s cool.”
The report adds: “Witnesses said Lane was giggling and having fun in about 6 inches to a foot of water on the shoreline of the 172-acre lagoon during an outdoor movie event before the alligator dragged him away at about 9 p.m. Tuesday — with his horrified parents, Matt and Melissa Graves, nearby.”