Disney considers alligator warnings after two-year-old dies at resort beach


Walt Disney World is considering adding alligator warnings to beaches on its Florida resorts after a two-year-old boy was snatched and killed.

No Swimming signs are posted at the Seven Seas Lagoon where Lane Graves was grabbed from shallow water but there are no warnings about the presence of alligators.

A Disney representative, speaking on condition of anonymity because the company had yet to prepare a formal statement, said Disney would "thoroughly review" the sign issue in the future. Beaches that were closed during the search remained off limits to visitors, the company said.

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said his department and the state wildlife agency would look into the issue of signs around Seven Seas Lagoon.

He told The Associated Press after a news conference on Wednesday it was unlikely the toddler's parents Will and Melissa Graves of Omaha, Nebraska, would face any charges.

"There's nothing in this case to indicate that there was anything extraordinary" in terms of neglect by the parents.

A home photograph of Lane Graves, who was found dead after being seized by an alligator.
(Orange County Sheriff's Office/PA)

Divers found the child's body about 16 hours after authorities first got the call that a reptile had taken the boy from the man-made lagoon, which borders the Magic Kingdom theme park.

Mr Demings said it appeared the alligator drowned the child and left the body near the spot where he was last seen. An autopsy was planned.

"Of course the family was distraught, but also I believe somewhat relieved that his body was found intact," Demings told a news conference.

Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, left, and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings answer questions from reporters
(Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

A family friend released a statement on behalf of the Graves, thanking well-wishers for their "thoughts and hope-filled prayers".

Wildlife officials said the attack was a rarity in a state with an alligator population estimated at one million.

Authorities said the boy waded into no more than 1 or 2 feet of water in the lagoon around nightfall on Tuesday when he was taken from a small beach. The boy's father desperately tried to fight off the gator, suffering cuts on a hand, but he could not save his son. Neither could a nearby lifeguard, officials said.