Alligator snatches toddler near Disney resort

2016-06-15 09:01

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Lake Buena Vista – Authorities were searching early on Wednesday for a 2-year-old boy who was dragged into the water by an alligator near Disney's upscale Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

The family of five from Nebraska was on vacation and wading in a lake on Tuesday evening when the attack happened, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings told a news conference. The father tried to rescue his son but was unsuccessful, Demings said.

More than 50 law enforcement personnel were searching the Seven Seas Lagoon along with an alligator tracker and two marine units and would continue searching through the night, Demings said.

"We're going to hope for the best in these circumstances," Demings said.

The attack happened in an area of the Seven Seas Lagoon where "no swimming" signs were posted, Demings said. The alligator was estimated to be 4 to 7 feet long, but its exact size was not known, Demings said.

Disney spokesperson Jacquee Wahaler said everyone at the resort was devastated by what happened and Disney is helping the family.

When asked if Disney was aware of alligators on the property, Wahaler advised there were signs that said "no swimming."

Demings said there had been no other recent reports of similar alligator attacks on the lake.

"We have no record of this happening before," he said.

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