A 2-year-old boy was snatched by an alligator while holidaying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando, Florida.
The toddler was playing along the edge of a lagoon when an alligator attacked him and carried him away into the water.
On Wednesday the authorities started the unpleasant task of euthanizing the remaining gators at the Seven Seas Lagoon in their search for the missing boy.
By early light four gators had been removed from the stretch of water close to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
But so far rescue teams have found no trace of the child.
The effort near the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa was still considered a “search and rescue operation,” said Jeff Williamson, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
“We are very hopeful,” he said at a morning news conference. “Sometimes you get the worst, but we are hoping for the best.”
Officials told CBS affiliate WKMG in Orlando that they’re going to “keep searching and searching and searching until we can’t search anymore.”
The child, who has not been named, was dragged away by an alligator on Tuesday night.
The attack happened while the boy’s family was enjoying movie night on the beach near the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Hotel.
They were “wading just in the water along the lake’s edge at the time that the alligator attacked the child,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Deming said of the family of five on vacation from Nebraska.
“Based upon my 35 years of law enforcement experience, we know we have some challenges ahead at this time,” he said. “We’re not leaving until we recover the child.”
No nuisance alligator reports have come in the region recently, Deming said.
Also, there were no gator warning signs posted, but other warnings were posted prohibiting swimming in the man-made lake.
The Grand Floridian in Bay Lake, Fla., is part of Disney resort near Disney World. The hotel is one of three on the monorail line, one stop from the Magic Kingdom Park.
A Disney official said they were “devastated” by the event.
A nearby resort had clear warning signs about alligators, according to TMZ who also reported a gator in the Seven Seas Lagoon from a video allegedly shot just a few days ago:
The Hyatt Grand Regency has a lagoon similar to the one at the Disney Grand Floridian Resort. As we reported, the Disney resort has a sign saying NO SWIMMING, but no mention of alligators. The Hyatt went the extra step and warned of gators.
As we reported, a gator was caught on video in the Seven Seas Lagoon just days before the attack.
We called several other nearby Disney resorts, and we were told there were no signs warning of alligators … just that the waters were not for swimming.
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