Today In Horrible/WTF News: A Two Year Old Was Eaten By An Alligator At Disney World

A two-year-old boy is missing and presumed dead after he was dragged into a lagoon by an alligator at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando. While this was happening, his father tried to wrestle his son from the alligator’s grip.

The boy was dragged into “Seven Seas Lagoon”, which is outside of the Grand Floridian Resort around 9:30 PM EST on Tuesday night. The boy was playing in about a foot of water, despite the present “no swimming” signs. According to police, there is little hope of finding the boy alive. Wildlife officer confirmed that they had killed four alligators in the the Seven Seas Lagoon while searching for the child, but none of them were the one that grabbed the boy. It is unknown whether the family were guests of the Grand Floridian. The Grand Floridian starts at $569 per night for the most standard room.

Update 06/16 4:13 PM:

Autopsy on Lane Graves shows boy died of drowning & traumatic injurie

Update: 4:40 PM: We spoke to south Florida boat Captain Shawn Meiman, who works for the Florida Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program.

“Typically, if the alligator can’t chew and swallow it whole, it will take it down under the water and drown it’s prey. It will leave it there for a little while to let it decay, so they can then eat it. That’s probably what that gator did … got his meal, wasn’t ready to eat it, maybe brought it to gator nest or den, waited for it to decay, and then ate it.”

Update – 4:25 PM: Lifeguard on duty says boy was 10 feet from the shoreline when attacked.

According to Daily Mail:

A Disney lifeguard revealed to Daily Mail Online that the boy was 10 feet from the shore when he was snatched.  It was previously reported that the boy was only in ankle-deep to a foot of water.  The employee told Daily Mail Online even at a distance of ten feet, the water is ‘not too deep’. ‘We have lifeguards on duty at the play area but at the beach we don’t have any lifeguards because you’re not supposed to be in the water,’ they said.

Update – 3:59 PM : The body of the boy has been found.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said the toddler, who was part of a family of five, arrived in Orlando on vacation from Nebraska on Sunday, and that last night that the parents and their three children had been on the beach at the time of the attack.

“We are working on recovering the body of a child at this point,” the sheriff said. “We are trying to bring some closure (to the parents) by recovering their loved one.”

Disney gave a statement about the incident to the Orlando Sentinel:

Jacquee Wahler, external communication director at Walt Disney World Resort, said she was “devastated” by the event.
“Everyone here at the Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with the family,” he said. “We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement.”

Similarly, Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said the  alligator was feeding and likely confused the small child for a dog or a raccoon. He reiterated that gators do not typically feed on humans. “People – even small people – are not their typical prey,” he said.

While this is not a video of the incident, this is a video of alligators in this exact lagoon:

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[h/t Daily Mail]

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