After the death of Lane Graves this week at a resort beach, Disney World responds with plans for alligator warning signs to be put up at all of their waterfront resorts. The move will happen as soon as possible.
Divers recovered the toddler’s body Wednesday afternoon and death was ruled as drowning and traumatic injuries. The child and his family were wading in the beach area, as many others do, during an outdoor movie night, when the alligator attacked and dragged the boy underwater.
In response to the event, many pictures have circulated online not only showing that families played at the beach and in the water, but that they were encouraged by the Disney resort to spend time at the beach. The current “No Swimming” signs posted at the entrance of the water do no indicate any danger of alligators or other wildlife. Florida residents are well aware of the danger of alligators in any body of water, but travelers and tourists are not well educated on the prevalence and motility of the animals.
Large portions of Walt Disney World property are designated conservation areas and have the variety of wildlife one would expect in such an area. Occasionally, aggressive or nuisance alligators are removed from the property and relocated to other conservation areas or are euthanized. Five alligators have already been captured and euthanized this week during the search efforts for Graves. It is currently unknown if one of those five is responsible for the child’s death.
All of Disney’s beaches remain closed as officials decide the best method for ensuring the safety of its guests.
There have been 23 deaths as a result of unprovoked alligator attacks in Florida since 1948. Generally, if a human comes in contact with an alligator, the gator retreats. With an estimated 1.3 million gators in Florida, the odds of a resident being seriously injured in an unprovoked attack are 1 in 2.4 million.