Update on the Gator Attack at the Grand Floridian Tuesday Night
Late last night we had to deliver the horrendous news that a two year old was attacked and taken away by a gator on the Grand Floridian beach. I stayed awake as long as I could to see updates, and this morning, authorities say they still have not located the child. Here’s what we know from WESH News in Orlando~
Hours after an alligator grabbed a 2-year-old boy and dragged him into the Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World, a frantic early-morning search has so far been unsuccessful.
Orange County authorities said the child and his father were wading in about one foot of water outside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa when the alligator attacked around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The family is vacationing from Nebraska, Demings said.
Orange County authorities said 50 people, including two marine units, were involved in the overnight search and about the same number of people would continue the search Wednesday.
Florida Fish and Wildlife units are also assisting and have an alligator trapper on the water with deputies. As of 6:30 a.m., four alligators had been retrieved from the lake, euthanized and examined for possible involvement in the attack. So far, no evidence has been found that any of the four were involved.
Sheriff’s office spokesperson Jeff Williamson said this is still a search and rescue operation. He hopes bringing in fresh eyes and additional personnel Wednesday will help in the efforts.
Williamson wouldn’t speculate on how long the search would continue, saying, “Right now, we’re just trying to find a young boy. We’re just going to keep searching until we find something. We’ll call it off when we call it off.”
An FWC official said it’s very rare for people to be attacked by alligators.
“We’re going to hope for the best in these circumstances, but based on my 35 years of law enforcement experience, we know that we have some challenges ahead of us at this time,” the sheriff said at an early-morning news conference.
Witnesses, as well as Florida Fish & Wildlife officials, reported that the alligator could have been up to 7 feet long.
There are “No Swimming” signs at the lagoon. “My understanding is that he was not swimming,” said Williamson.
“Everyone here at Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident,” said Jacquee Wahler, vice president of the Walt Disney World Resort. “Our thoughts are with the family and we are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist them.”
Water crafts are suspended today at the Magic Kingdom.
I’m truly at a loss for words this week with all the tragedy coming out of our area here in Orlando. Please continue to send your thoughts and prayers, as I will give you the latest updates as soon as possible. ~M
* As of noon, the beach areas are all closed at Disney, this is a recovery mission for authorities. FWC is on hand, still trying to locate the gator and child.
***As of this afternoon, the child was located in the water, not far from where he went in. The family has been notified. We are so very sorry for their loss.
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