Alligator Pulls Child Into A Lagoon At Disney Hotel, Search Underway

Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, seen across the Seven Seas Lagoon - Photo from Wikipedia

A 2-year-old boy was attacked by an alligator and dragged into a lake at a Disney hotel near Orlando, Florida. Officials have confirmed that a search is underway to locate the missing boy, CNN reports.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said that the child was just wading in the waters outside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa when the alligator attacked. “The father actually went into the water to wrestle his son from the grips of the alligator,” Demings related. The father was unsuccessful in recovering his son, and suffered minor scratches on his hand. The mother had also gone into the water, but only to find her child.

The sad reality of it is it’s been several hours and we’re not likely going to recover a live body

Demings said. He added that there have been no similar incidents recorded in the area. There have been no recent reports of aggressive alligator behavior, either. While unsure of the actual size, Demings estimated the alligator that took the boy to be “between 4 and 7 feet long.”

The family, which included the parents, the boy and his 4-year-old sister, were on vacation from Nebraska.

Jacquee Wahler, Vice-President of the Walt Disney World Resort, said, “Everyone here at the Walt Disney Resort is devastated by this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with the family. We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement.”

The Reedy Creek Emergency Services was the first to receive the call regarding the attack at 9:16 p.m. ET. The incident happened in the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Witnesses said there was no one else but the boy in the water when the attack happened. Demings said there are many “No Swimming” signs at the lagoon, most likely because of the presence of alligators. “This is Florida and it’s not uncommon for alligators to be in bodies of water,” Demings said.

Authorities have been searching for the missing child for hours and have no intention of stopping until he is found. Helicopters, marine units, sonar and an alligator trapper are currently in use, with divers on standby. At least eight boats, including two Disney security boats and pontoons, have been combing the waters. The search and rescue parties hope to find the child by daylight.

The Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife is also conducting an investigation and is part of the search efforts.

“We’re not leaving until we recover the child,” Demings said.

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