A 2-year-old boy was snatched off the beach by an alligator on Wednesday at a Disney World Resort.
His body was recovered around 3:30 today. The body was taken to Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office. It is believed that the gator drowned the boy.
The 7- to 8-foot reptile grabbed the boy late Tuesday as he was playing in about a foot of water at the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Hotel. His father, who quickly rushed to the boy’s aid, could not fend off the alligator and received minor injuries to his hand.
The boy’s mother also rushed into the water, but when the couple was unable to save their son, they alerted a nearby lifeguard who called 911.
Some 50 wildlife specialists, including trained alligator trappers, shifted early Wednesday from a search and rescue effort to a recovery operation, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
A tragedy like this is not something we read about often in the news, but sadly, things like this can happen in Florida.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission numbers, as of April there has been just one other incident where a person was bitten by an alligator in Florida in 2016. There were nine 2015, one of which was fatal, and 10 in 2014, none of which were fatal. Since 2006, there have been five reported fatalities due to alligator attacks, and since 1948, when the agency began keeping track, there have been 23.
Any body of water of any size in Florida can potentially have alligators in them. Most hotels and resorts near bodies of water are pretty vigilant about relocating dangerous animals out of areas where the public would be nearby. In Florida, you have to be very careful as alligators can be anywhere, including golf courses and even backyards.
The family of this boy could potentially sue the hotel for negligence, as hotel’s have a duty to rid their premises of any dangers, including violent wildlife. If you have any questions about a premises liability claim, our Florida Premises Liability Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can help. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online.