More horrible news out of Orlando, Florida. A two-year-old child was attacked and dragged into the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World at approximately 9:30 pm, Tuesday night. Disney was quick to take action to protect guests.
At approximately 9:30 pm Tuesday evening, an alligator grabbed hold of a two-year-old child on the beach of the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort. The beach was sealed off while search and rescue efforts were made to find the child.
The incident happened at the edge of the water in the area where movies are shown nightly on the beach. Witnesses said the father and the boy were wading at the edge of the water while other members of the family were about 20 to 30 yards from the water on the sand, according to Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.
Both father and mother entered the water to attempt to wrestle the child away from the alligator but were unsuccessful. Demings said the father was injured in the attack as well. The alligator is reported to be 4 to 7 feet in length.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission removed multiple alligators out of the lake to euthanize and analyze them in the effort, but none were believed to be the gator involved in the attack.
Disney World announced Wednesday it was closing all beaches at all resorts out of an abundance of caution. All marinas and water transportation around the Magic Kingdom was closed as well. As of Thursday morning, ferry boat service between the Ticket and Transportation Center and Magic Kingdom has been resumed. All beaches and marinas remain closed.
While alligators are abundant in Florida, attacks are rare. “We have not had any recent reports or complaints of nuisance gators in the area,” Demings said. There are “No Swimming” signs at the lagoon and no one else was in the water at the time of the attack besides the child, Demings said. This body of water is not for recreational swimming “likely for that very reason. This is Florida and it’s not uncommon for alligators to be in bodies of water,” Demings said.
“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,” said Jacquee Wahler, vice president of Walt Disney World Resort.
This incident is the latest in a horrible week for Orlando with the murder of 22 year-old Voice Star Christina Grimmie who was shot outside a concert venue while signing autographs and the brutal attack at the Orlando nightclub, Pulse which resulted in the death of 49 people.
Prayers for the family of the missing child are needed.
Please be careful around the water’s edge when visiting Florida. Alligators are abundant and are a threat to small children and pets. Alligators are in nearly all bodies of water in Florida (including at Disney World) and regularly travel from lake to lake.
Photo Credit: Christian Menard, via Twitter
Photo Credit: Shawn Powers, via Twitter