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Wed Jun 15, 2016, 04:35 PM

 

Disney gator attack: 2-year-old found dead, source says

Source: CNN

Lake Buena Vista, Florida (CNN)[Breaking news update, posted at 4:00 p.m. ET]

The 2-year-old boy who witnesses said was pulled by an alligator into a lagoon near a Walt Disney World hotel has been found dead, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Wednesday.

The 2-year-old boy who was grabbed Tuesday night by an alligator near a Walt Disney World resort hotel is believed dead, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Wednesday. Demings noted that it has been 15 hours since the attack and rescue officials are trying to recover the body.

The boy's family was at movie night outdoors at the Grand Floridian resort when around 9 p.m. the boy waded into about a foot of water in a lagoon, authorities have said. Witnesses, including the boy's horrified parents, tried to save him. His father jumped in and tried to pry the gator's mouth open. His mother jumped in, too.

But it was too late. The child was dragged underwater in the Seven Seas Lagoon, witnesses told authorities. The lagoon is connected to a series of canals that feed into large bodies of water, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Executive Director Nick Wiley.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/15/us/alligator-attacks-child-disney-florida/index.html



Very sad.

49 replies, 7706 views

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Reply Disney gator attack: 2-year-old found dead, source says (Original post)
Reter Jun 2016 OP
obamanut2012 Jun 2016 #1
PJMcK Jun 2016 #6
ginnyinWI Jun 2016 #16
obamanut2012 Jun 2016 #19
OnDoutside Jun 2016 #2
Ms. Yertle Jun 2016 #3
Sand Rat Expat Jun 2016 #4
irisblue Jun 2016 #5
emulatorloo Jun 2016 #7
MissDeeds Jun 2016 #8
Sophiegirl Jun 2016 #9
DesertRat Jun 2016 #10
JennyMominFL Jun 2016 #11
TonyPDX Jun 2016 #12
herding cats Jun 2016 #13
cstanleytech Jun 2016 #14
rocktivity Jun 2016 #20
cstanleytech Jun 2016 #21
24601 Jun 2016 #30
cstanleytech Jun 2016 #31
24601 Jun 2016 #33
cstanleytech Jun 2016 #35
24601 Jun 2016 #36
cstanleytech Jun 2016 #38
24601 Jun 2016 #39
cstanleytech Jun 2016 #40
24601 Jun 2016 #41
cstanleytech Jun 2016 #42
24601 Jun 2016 #44
24601 Jun 2016 #49
Roland99 Jun 2016 #24
Eugene Jun 2016 #15
obamanut2012 Jun 2016 #18
cstanleytech Jun 2016 #22
obamanut2012 Jun 2016 #23
LeftyMom Jun 2016 #28
GulfCoast66 Jun 2016 #25
PoliticAverse Jun 2016 #26
Sunlei Jun 2016 #47
brer cat Jun 2016 #17
Peregrine Took Jun 2016 #27
Duckko Jun 2016 #29
eastwestdem Jun 2016 #32
Name removed Jun 2016 #34
Citrus Jun 2016 #37
cstanleytech Jun 2016 #43
Citrus Jun 2016 #46
laundry_queen Jun 2016 #45
TipTok Jun 2016 #48

Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 04:36 PM

1. Very surprised his body was found intact

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 04:47 PM

6. If you really want to know the answer...

Alligators tend to submerge their prey and store it for later consumption.

Let me stress that I mean no disrespect to the boy or his family. I'm simply answering obamanut2012's question.

I hope the poor family will eventually find peace though it's hard to see how one could deal with this tragedy.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 06:06 PM

16. the article says that they will find the alligator who did it...

I'm wondering how would they know? Maybe bite marks to match up to its teeth?

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 06:31 PM

19. Yeah, I know, bit he was so little

Am surprised his torso wasn't ripped open or anything.

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 04:42 PM

2. Lane Graves from Elk Horn, Nebraska.....RIP

poor lad, very sad news

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 04:44 PM

3. RIP, Little One n/t

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 04:44 PM

4. Thought it was going to end this way.

So tragic. My heart breaks for his family.

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 04:44 PM

5. that poor family

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 04:48 PM

7. My heart breaks for him and his family.

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 04:51 PM

8. Report says

 

..."The body of the boy, Lane Graves, was found intact at about 1:45 p.m. ET, not far from where the boy was grabbed Tuesday night, Demings said. He likely drowned, Demings said."

Well, drowning may be of some comfort to the parents, given what the alternatives could have been. This just breaks my heart.

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 05:00 PM

9. Poor baby.

The parents must be inconsolable.

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 05:00 PM

10. Heartbreaking story

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 05:06 PM

11. The drown their prey

It's not surprising that he was intact. They drown their prey and store it for later

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 05:09 PM

12. My heart breaks for that family-- and for the already-shocked city of Orlando. n/t

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 05:10 PM

13. Poor baby.



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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 05:35 PM

14. Wierd, I keep hearing different accounts of where he was when the gator attacked.

One said he was in his playpen at the waters edge then another said he was on the beach playing on the beach itself and didnt mention the playpen and now he was a foot in the water according to this.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 06:48 PM

20. Not weird when there's a honker of a lawsuit in the balance.

If he was in a playpen, what was it doing at the water's edge? If he was playing at the shoreline or wading in the water, why wasn't there an adult within arm's reach? If the beach is subject to alligators, shouldn't wading or playing at the shoreline be forbidden as well as swimming? And since the resort's core clientele is NON-Floridians, shouldn't there be signs warning against alligators?


rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 06:56 PM

21. Well a lawsuit is one possability though Disney could probably win unless they declared there were

zero gators in there since its Florida and most people with common sense would suspect there might be some in a freshwater area but anyway the other 2 things it could be is
#1 human memory sucks
#2 a case of the news getting the story 2nd hand from other people who didnt directly witness the event.
Or a combo of the two.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #21)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 12:58 AM

30. It may come down to what Disney knew and when they knew it. We live an hour from Disney and know

it pretty well. I've been on that beach. I'm some areas, they have signs about the wildlife. I recall very well the no swimming sign at the Grand Floridan beach because the beach itself is clean and raked and has lawn chairs and it very inviting. So it kind of clicked that look at the great beach, but that we couldn't swim there. It isn't a big deal because at the edge of te beach was a sidewalk and just on the other side of the sidewalk is the Grand Floridan main pool with the waterfall & water slide - where they let you wear goggles unlike so many other places.

Along with the Polynesian and Contemporary, The Grand Floridan Resort is on the Seven Seas Lagoon, which is man made. It was formed by removing the dirt which became the foundation/1st floor of the Magic Kingdom-where main street is really the 2nd floor but Disney Artists & Engineers (Imagineers) make it seem like the ground level. It makes sense because if the MK was really at ground level, you couldn't have a basement and tunnels because of the water level.

The water for the Seven Seas Lagoon comes from Bay Lake via a man-made canal. The remains of River Country, WDW's 1st water park are still on Bay lake between the Wilderness Lodge and the Fort Wilderness campground. We went to River Country in the early 90s on out 1st anniversary.

Disney rents boats on Bay lake and Seven Seas Lagoon and some are small two-seaters. They have para-sailing on Bay Lake. So even though we are "locals" and understand about gators in Florida fresh water (they don't like brackish or salt water), we pretty much thought Disney had isolated those lakes from gators.

So I can see very easily that unless posted conspicuously, non-local guests would not infer danger on the Grand Floridan beach. It's clean, inviting and it's Disney, where anything scary is just special effects.

With today's news that they got 5 gators from the lagoon, it's exceptionally hard to believe WDW didn't know. They really know everything and you can't go anywhere on property without surveillance that turns NSA green with envy. Low light and IR cameras, short-range and long range RF trackers on the "Magic" wrist bands that act as your room key, credit card and park ticket - they even know how long guests stay at a particular store display. And it they knew about the alligators and didn't warn - or didn't warn sufficiently for the reasonable out of state guest, then they could have prevented this tragedy.

WDW is really great about setting up tape and rope lines at parade time where the danger is minimal. I really don't know why, but if they didn't set up an adequate warnings or a barrier on the beach because of something superficial - like optics - than they failed to put the safety of their most vulnerable guests then this is inexcusable. And I say this as someone who has been going there for decades. I've dreamed of retiring and driving the parking lot tram (which is air-conditioned for the driver) or giving the backstage tours where the st members recite all 45 years of Disney secrets and trivia. Yes there have been deaths before - a cast member killed during a monorail photo-shoot, a guest drowned swimming to Tom Sawyers island after the park was closed, a guest killed in traffic accident with a park bus. But this is horrific on a different order of magnitude. We've been to WDW with toddlers and this story has broken out hearts and spirits.

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Response to 24601 (Reply #30)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 01:58 AM

31. I was reading an article on cnn about it earlier

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/15/opinions/hotels-may-avoid-liability-alligator-attack-danny-cevallos/index.html
In a nutshell I would not be willing to wager any money on the family being able to actually win though Disney might be willing to settle just to make it go away I suppose.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #31)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 03:12 AM

33. I saw this in the Washington Post. For context, Morgan is from the Florida famous "Morgan and

Morgan, for the people."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/06/15/legal-experts-did-disney-do-enough-to-warn-its-guests-about-alligators/?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_disney-liability-850pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.e1beced1d556

Three verbatim paragraphs from WaPo:

"But Tuesday’s fatal attack took place along a well-tended beach by the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon, outside the upscale Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The boy, on vacation with his family from Nebraska, apparently had waded inches into the water when the alligator attacked. There were no other people in the water at the time, according to authorities. Signs posted near the lake warn against swimming in it, but the resort did not have signage warning of alligators in the water. The company will “thoroughly review the situation for the future,” according to a Disney official."

"Matt Morgan, an Orlando attorney who has litigated numerous negligence cases against Florida theme parks, agreed that any case would turn on a couple central questions. “What did Disney know about the presence of alligators and when did they know it? What protections were in place for these visitors?” he said. “If Disney knew and did not take steps to warn visitors, they could be liable.”

"Morgan said his observation that the lake is lined like a sandy beach with chairs and umbrellas shows that visitors were welcome on the shore. The argument one could anticipate Disney making is that the presence of alligators in Florida’s fresh waters is well known, he said. The counter argument “is this family from out of state that comes to Disney World assumes that Disney has taken every measure to protect them and their family, and could not in their wildest nightmare imagine that there was an alligator large enough to take their son.”

I had not seen this article when I posted my earlier comments. I expect WDW will settle any suit without trial. But if they don't, it pretty certain I'd be challenged off the Jury.

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Response to 24601 (Reply #33)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 10:34 AM

35. Unless Disney built the lake and or advertised it as alligator free though

I dont think the couple will have much of a leg to stand on in court since alligators are native to the state and are present in just about every county of it.
Heck I think the population is in the 1.5 million area and thats alot of gators for a state.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #35)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 11:23 AM

36. Since WDW has posted warning signs at other places, why wouldn't a reasonable out of state guest

who has seen the alligator warning at the Beach Club canal (where there is no entry), but then sees no warning sign at the inviting Grand Floridan beach, infer that since WDW warns about gators - and there is no gator on this beach clearly maintained for human use, that is would be safe from gators?

That's why I believe (see post #30) that it will come down to what WDW knew and when they knew it.

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Response to 24601 (Reply #36)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 01:43 PM

38. If this was a man-made pool that might work but an open freshwater natural area in Florida? A state

known for having a large alligator population and for even having the Gator Bowl for football? I would not be willing to wager even a dollar on their chances at winning if it went to court.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #38)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 05:18 PM

39. Seven Seas Lagoon is man-made and was dry land when Disney bought the acerage. It was dug up for

the fill dirt that makes up the real ground floor of the Magic Kingdom Park. Then WDW flooded the Lagoon it via a concrete canal that connects to Bay Lake, which was the site of River Country, WDW's 1st water park. The connecting canal goes over the entrance road leading to the Contemporary Resort and Magic Kingdom.

I'm confident WDW will settle without trial. Even with a Florida jury, the exposure is very large, not because the compensatory damage valuation of a toddler is all that big, it isn't. The numbers come in with pain and suffering of the boy and his family.

Morgan & Morgan is one of the most profitable tort firms in the state and moving up in the thread, you can see what Matt Morgan said to the Washington Post.

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Response to 24601 (Reply #39)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 05:43 PM

40. I meant pool like the big clear ones you see alot of the water parks have that are filled with

filtered and treated water.
I mean there are plenty of artificial reservoirs but are those considered safe from alligators in florida? Probably not so what makes people think swimming in any open body of water in florida is safe?
But lets take it one step further, is a resort on the coast at fault in florida if they dont post a warning message about the risk of shark attacks and someone is attacked by one? Nope.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #40)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 08:46 PM

41. The resort neither owns nor controls the ocean. They can't even keep people off the beach in front

of their resort up to the high-tide line.

Different situation on private property. There have been plenty of successful lawsuits involving homeowners who didn't do enough to keep trespassers out of their pool.

The sign addressed swimming, nothing about wading and yes, they are different and I have seen signs prohibiting both.

First thought - Disney posts signs when there is a wildlife danger. What is the reasonable inference when danger is alerted, but this location has no such warning?

Second - Seven Seas Lagoon (SSL) is connected via canal to Bay Lake, site of River Country, WDW's 1st water park, where they used to take our money in order to play in Bay Lake. The River Country infrastructure remains there visible to guests who like to remember or hear about that attraction.

Third - WDW intentionally hid the Bay Lake barrier to make it appear River Country was open water. The purpose was to keep River Country recycling filtered water and it would not have stopped an alligator. Reasonable guest conclusion was that it was safe.

Fourth - Plenty of revenue-generating activity happens on both Bay Lake and SSL. WDW runs medium-size ferries between the Magic Kingdom and the Resorts. The large ferries run from the Ticket & Transportation Center across SSL to the Magic Kingdom entrance. There are party boats, fireworks-watching boats, pirate-themed boats, paddle boats and the little two-seat put-puts with a 7 hp engine. They para-sail on Bay Lake. The reasonable inference is that this is Disney - they stop you from doing anything unsafe. Danger would be marked conspicuously.

Fifth - The Grand Floridan beach is deliberately inviting. It's right next to the resort's main pool and there is no separating fence. It's clean, raked and has chairs, lounges and umbrellas. The only sign says no swimming. They hold nighttime kids movies on the beach there. I don't believe the sign is lighted and most 2 year olds can't read it anyway. The beach is a favorite spot for watching the magic kingdom fireworks and the night-time neon-light and music barges that stop by each SSL and Bay Lake Resort for a show after dark - every night that doesn't have severe storms. It is not reasonable to project that to the very edge of the beach is safe, Disney Magic land - but one foot beyond in three inches of water risks death.

Sixth - This is Disney. The alien doesn't really eat you - that's just movie Magic. The ghosts in the Haunted Mansion are holographs. The Splash Mountain beasts are stuffed animals and Beast is a kid-loving cast member in a furry costume. The Elephants, Hippos and Crocks on the Magic Kingdom Jungle River Cruise ride are fakes made in the Central Shops. If you drop your coke, a cast member will have picked it up within about a minute.

Finally - the Grand Floridan is Disney's flagship resort. It's where they hold destination weddings. Impeccably dressed cast members ensure that this is the most magical time your kids will ever experience. Lobby music is provided by a rotation between a jazz band and a pianists on a full grand.

We have loved Disney and raised our kids there since they were 4 and 6 - now they are in their early 20s. We have been DVC members since 1999 and are as much Disney insiders as you can be without being a cast member. We have been on the backstage tours, in the "utilidor" tunnels under the Magic Kingdom, through Central Shops and seen the next big thing coming out. We meet our cast member friends for a good day and drive behind the MK to get them to the costume department and Disney University.

I hope I'm wrong, but the rumblings are that there had been recent gator sightings in SSL and /or Bay Lake. When they pull five gators from the lagoon within 24 hours, it's just not believable that Disney didn't know anything about their presence or habits. There certainly has been a lot of press that the most dangerous gator-feeding time is right around sundown and early morning. When you check into any of the WDW 22+ resorts, you get a substantial packet of schedules, information, transportation instructions and more - but I don't recall anything about animal danger on any beach. I'll be disappointed but not surprised if internal correspondence show that they new of the potential danger but didn't want to curtail the nighttime beach activity and wanted to keep it clean and appealing because that was best for the bottom line.

Even if Disney wins in court over a family that lost their child, they win one small battle but sacrifice everything they stand for and Disney is hyper-protective of its image. These were not parents neglecting their child. They were right there and the dad fought the gator, but lost. I'm sure Disney will settle without discovery and with confidential terms.

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Response to 24601 (Reply #41)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 09:28 PM

42. I guess we have a difference of opinion on whats reasonable because to me

I dont think its reasonable to assume a lake in a park in Florida is going to be alligator free and you couldnt pay me to swim in one unless the park specifically states it is alligator free.
As for

"Sixth - This is Disney. The alien doesn't really eat you - that's just movie Magic. The ghosts in the Haunted Mansion are holographs. The Splash Mountain beasts are stuffed animals and Beast is a kid-loving cast member in a furry costume. The Elephants, Hippos and Crocks on the Magic Kingdom Jungle River Cruise ride are fakes made in the Central Shops. If you drop your coke, a cast member will have picked it up within about a minute.

Finally - the Grand Floridan is Disney's flagship resort. It's where they hold destination weddings. Impeccably dressed cast members ensure that this is the most magical time your kids will ever experience. Lobby music is provided by a rotation between a jazz band and a pianists on a full grand. "

None of that is material to the case at hand on if Disney is liable, personally I dont think they are unless they were importing and or were caring for the gators in which case they would and should be held liable.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #42)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 10:21 PM

44. We do have a difference and I certainly don't wish you any ill will from it. Time will tell what

they do.

Cheers

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Response to 24601 (Reply #44)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 12:00 PM

49. Friday update: Disney will begin posting alligator warning signs after boy’s death

I'll include several paragraphs and will post the link.

"Disney has announced it will close all its Florida resort beaches and post new signs warning of alligators — two days after a Nebraska toddler was attacked and drowned by one of the creatures in a resort lagoon that bore no warning of their dangerous presence."

"The absence of signage throughout the Disney theme parks, located in a state with more than a million gators across all 67 Florida counties, has drawn criticism from legal experts, among others, who say Disney could be held liable for the child’s death. Though most Floridians know that alligators live in nearly every fresh water body in the state, experts told The Washington Post it would be reasonable to argue that vacationers coming from somewhere like Nebraska wouldn't share the same knowledge."

(Although my views are similar, I'm not a legal expert)

"Law enforcement and wildlife officials have said repeatedly since Tuesday that they work diligently with Disney to remove nuisance alligators from waterways inside the park. Disney told the AP that they have a relocation policy for gators considered to be a threat. Those under four feet long are moved to conservation areas, the company told the AP, and larger gators are removed by state-licensed trappers."

(not a quote) The article also described how WDW's web site encouraged Grand Floridan guests to vacation on this beach.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/06/17/disney-will-begin-posting-alligator-warning-signs-after-boys-death/?hpid=hp_no-name_no-name%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 09:21 PM

24. The older child was in the playpen

odd

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 05:35 PM

15. The Latest: Sheriff: 5 Gators Caught, 1 Probably the Killer

Source: Associated Press

The Latest: Sheriff: 5 Gators Caught, 1 Probably the Killer

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Jun 15, 2016, 5:25 PM ET

The Latest on search for boy dragged away by alligator (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

A medical examiner now has custody of the body of Lane Graves, the 2-year-old killed by an alligator at Walt Disney World, and an autopsy will be performed.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said "it was a tough message to deliver" to Matt and Melissa Graves, that their child is dead.

The sheriff says five gators were captured and killed during the search, and there's a good chance that one of them is the killer, but a forensic investigation will continue to make sure.

[font size=1]-snip-[/font]


Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/latest-authorities-search-boy-dragged-gator-39868823

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Response to Eugene (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 06:30 PM

18. I am bothered they killed the gators

They could have moved them -- even away from Orlando to the Everglades.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 07:00 PM

22. And if this was 30+years ago I would likely agree but right now the population of gators down there

is pretty large now compared to then but their habitat is shrinking due to humans so if you moved them down south like you propose it could put other alligators at risk.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #22)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 07:34 PM

23. I live in SOFL

Okay then, just move them further away from WDW. They didn't need to kill the animals.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #23)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 10:56 PM

28. They don't move them if they're over four feet.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 09:32 PM

25. Do not be bothered

They are not that smart but they quickly learn what represents food. And once it realized that a human child is easy food it would look for them.

And gators are never relocated. The habitat is totally full. Any gator that is caught is killed. There are millions of them. Even small ditches have them.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 09:33 PM

26. I believe the reason they killed them was to look at their stomach contents. n/t

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #26)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 12:41 AM

47. they will measure the teeth/bite to make sure the one who grabbed the child is 'gone'

It doesn't take much shore feeding for gators to start hanging around hoping for some easy food. In Texas at popular fishing spots many, many gators hang around docks/shorelines for easy food-bait and fish parts. They'll grab and drown any dogs if people let their dogs get in that water.

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 06:22 PM

17. Poor baby!

I am thankful for his family that he was found and intact. Not much solace, but better I think than never finding his body.

So very sad.

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 10:52 PM

27. Night splashing did it. It's when they get their prey.

My mom, an English nanny, would have had that child in bed at that hour.
Hate away!!

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Wed Jun 15, 2016, 11:07 PM

29. Very sad

 

My heart aches.

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 02:33 AM

32. That poor family. Such a tragedy. nt

 

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Response to Reter (Original post)


Response to Reter (Original post)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 12:56 PM

37. Responsibility vs. Blame

This is not meant to be disrespectful to the family, but just to explain something. As already posted, gators drown their prey and store it a den-like place underwater for consumption after putrefaction has set in. Gators usually grab prey by the head, which makes it easier to drown the prey/victim. When a victim (human, canine, etc.) can be recovered, it is often found with relatively few wounds from teeth, usually on the head area. They killed the gators because that's SOP now that gators have recovered from endangered status. There are regular gator hunts and gator meat is served in many restaurants. Even miniature golf courses often have a pond with baby gators and charge idiot visitors a fee to feed them from a bamboo pole. (I'm opposed to hunting of all kinds, don't eat animals, and hate any kind of captivity. I'm just stating facts.)

I wouldn't have let my child anywhere near that water, but I'm a Florida native and I'm more experienced and more informed about our lakes, rivers, springs, streams and oceans. (I don't think I'd've let my child even near water where there was a No Swimming sign, regardless of location.) Disney had signs that said "No Swimming". And yet there's a beach there! They made it inviting. I'm not sure it's a stretch to assume that wading is not the same as swimming. Disney also knew about the gators. They regularly remove (probably kill) any gators they find that over 4 feet long, IIRC on the length. It's simply not possible for Disney to not know there are gators in every body of water in this state (including tiny ponds).

Though that "lake" is manmade, it is connected by other natural waterways to bigger natural waterways. It is not possible to keep gators out of an area without sinking fencing a few feet underground and then slanting tall above-ground fencing outward so the gators can't climb the fence. Yes, they can climb fences and even certain walls. Even the Cape (NASA) has tall fencing that curves outward to prevent gators from getting into sensitive areas.

Most people don't know much about gators. Even people who've lived here for a long time are stupid and ignorant about the dangers. I see people walking with their small children and dogs along known gator habitats. A gator can pop up suddenly. They are silent. They blend in with our blackwater rivers and lakes. A gator can outrun any human for at least 20 feet (probably more). They are extremely fast on land for short distances. Can we expect people who visit Disney properties from all over the world to know about gators? These aren't people who are camping in the woods. (Water is never far from any spot in this state!) When one really looks at how gators are treated, how they're portrayed in captivity, and the very little warning/danger information out there, it's surprising that more people and pets aren't taken.

I think Disney is responsible. I also think Disney is to blame. They should not have made any water inviting to humans in any way unless 100% predator-proof. They knew there were gators in the water. And they knew that gators are in every body of water here. (They'll even climb fences to get into backyard pools.) At the very least, the "lakes" should not be inviting to wading or swimming, should only have elevated walkways inaccessible to gators, have large frequently-placed warning signs about gators (and other reptiles), and also monitor these areas to ensure the safety of their visitors.

Lastly, this is mating and nesting season and gators are even more dangerous now.



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Response to Citrus (Reply #37)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 09:37 PM

43. "They should not have made any water inviting to humans in any way unless 100% predator-proof. " No.

That just wont work as a claim, if it did then any resort on the ocean with a nice beach it owns exposes itself to potential liability for making their beach so inviting for people to swim in but not making sure its not 100% predator-proof from sharks.
Of course there is one way they could be liable with such a shark attack and thats the resort are also advertising near shore shark tours not to far from the beach and they are luring the sharks in by dumping fresh bloody fish ocean into the water and if there was such a resort stupid enough to do that I damn well would not be going swimming on that beach.

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Response to cstanleytech (Reply #43)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 11:09 PM

46. Nah....

Ocean-front resorts didn't build the ocean, nor do they own the ocean or even the beach. In Florida, all beaches are public and not privately owned. (The current ass in the governor's mansion wants to change this, but for now, we remain public.) You're comparing very different things.

It's also becoming clear that even Disney employees reported great concerns, not the least of which was visitors feeding gators. Disney knew. Sadly, Disney knew.

I stand by my statement that making dangerous water inviting to humans isn't just ridiculous, it's dangerous. This was not a natural body of water, open to the general public. It is a manmade "lake" only for use by guests of the Grand Floridian. Having a damn beach on it is like having a trail of candy leading into a near-invisible pit with fire at the bottom.

All southern states have warning signs in their state parks and along waterways. Most, if not all, municipal and county parks and waterways also have warning signs. Disney was grossly derelict in its duty. I hope they shut up and pay up and do whatever it takes to protect future visitors.

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Response to Citrus (Reply #37)

Thu Jun 16, 2016, 10:47 PM

45. I agree with you 100%. nt

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Response to Reter (Original post)

Fri Jun 17, 2016, 12:56 AM

48. It's a rare story that sticks with me past the inital read...

 

Ugh...

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