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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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

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