An American family’s Disney vacation turned into a nightmare when an alligator snatched a two-year-old boy at the shore of a resort lake and fought off the father’s frantic attempts to wrest the toddler from its mouth, officials said Wednesday.

A search and rescue operation was launched after the attack Tuesday night at the Grand Floridian hotel not far from the Magic Kingdom was ongoing, but police said they held out little hope the boy would be found alive.

“We are keeping some hope alive, but it is looking more grave every moment, every hour,” Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jeff Williamson told AFP.

The mauling was yet more terrible news for a vacation town still reeling from the weekend shooting massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in downtown Orlando – the worst mass shooting in American history. Another 53 were wounded.

“We determined this two-year-old child was playing at the edge of the water, a foot [30 centimeters] or so into the water, when this alligator came up and attacked the child,” Sheriff Jerry Demings told a sunrise news conference.
“The father did his best, tried to rescue the child – however, to no avail.”

The child belonged to a family of five from the Midwestern state of Nebraska that was relaxing on the shore of the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon at the hotel, Demings said.

The alligator emerged and snatched the boy around 9:00 pm Tuesday.

The Grand Floridian is part of the massive Disney resort complex that includes several theme parks, water parks, hotels and golf courses.

Rescuers used sonar and floodlights overnight to pursue their search, as a helicopter hovered overhead. Firefighters stood on the water’s edge with infrared cameras scanning the water for the child.

“We are very hopeful, hoping for the best,” Demings said at the early morning news conference. “Sometimes you get the worst, but we’re certainly hoping for the best.”

Alligators are common in Florida, where they can be found in bodies of fresh water across the state, Nick Wiley from the Florida fish and wildlife service told reporters.

However, it is very rare for an alligator to attack a human, Wiley said.

There was a no swimming sign at the lake, but no warning about alligators, he added.

“Everyone here at the Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident,” Disney communications executive Jacquee Wahler said.

“We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement.”


  1. Sad sad news if it truly went like that…. Or could it b a distraction from the “Gay shooting” b/c a lot of ppl are talking and it don’t look good…. The shooting is just not adding up!!!!!

  2. I want to see the parents criminal record. Why they took the kid out the play pen? Why weren’t they watching him closely?

  3. Beyond tragic. What a thing to witness as a parent.

    Florida is too full of these things. If is not Gators is snakes or sharks. I’ll keep my behind here in the cold and long winter, and be grateful for it.

  4. Let me start off by saying i’m saddened that this toddler lost him life in a tragic way.
    Now, why aren’t the parents being bashed for negligence such as the case of Harambe? Both CNN and Fox news have reported that signs were clearly posted warning visitors from swimming, yet still, the folks reported the child was “wading” n a foot of water. Why the B*mbor*ssclaat you people so f^cking reckless yo??
    Media, mi already know how unuh do tings. When it’s a black family you run in with the criminal histories and all sorts of bull but for this caucasian family, you want to post conferences of them shaken and teary-eyed?
    Tired of the latent racism.
    Oh, okay.

    **apologies for typos, angry typing

  5. the y found remains of his body at 3:30pm since day and doing an autopsy,this is jus sad on all damn levels

  6. So now their reporting the child body was found . So a Gator is just going to grab the child and drown it without actually Eatting it?! bullsh-*t. It don’t make sense people

  7. I agree Honest! That no add up, not trying to be gory but not even a one bite?

    It’s sad all around but I’m waiting also to see if them ah go dip up inna dem background & open up ACS case pon dis family like dem did do the Black family in the gorilla case????

  8. If you’re familiar with gators and crocodiles you will know they don’t eat the bodies immediately, they drown you and kill you and then leave you to rot and come back and eat you in a few days. I’m glad they found the body!

    If they know gators are in the lake they need more than just signs at Disney they need a whole barricade … Nobody should be remotely close to that lake… That’s a big law suit they’ll get a lot of money.

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