CBS News’ Mark Strasssman has the latest on the search for a missing 2-year-old boy who was snatched by an alligator and dragged into the lagoon at a Disney resort in Florida.
A boy was attacked about 9:00 p.m. Monday by an alligator while he was with his family at movie night outdoors at the Grand Floridian resort. The boy waded into about a foot of water in a lagoon where “No Swimming” signs were posted. There are no other warning signs in the area. Witnesses, including the boy’s horrified parents, tried to save him. The boy’s father and mother jumped in and the father tried to pry the gator’s mouth open. Reedy Creek Fire Department responded as soon as they were called about 9:16 p.m.
The child was dragged underwater in the Seven Seas Lagoon, which is connected to a series of canals that feed into large bodies of water.
A search began for the boy immediately, with boats from Disney searching along with law enforcement as Disney closed all report beaches.
Authorities are searching for a 2-year-old boy after an alligator attacked him in a lagoon at a Disney hotel near Orlando.
By mid-morning Wednesday, Disney had closed all beaches in its resort area “out of an abundance of caution” following the attack, a Disney representative said. The lagoon beach on a sandy waterfront area outside the hotel near the Seven Seas Lagoon is about 2700 feet southwest of the front entrance to Magic Kingdom Park. Seven Seas Lagoon is also the major body of water that is crossed by ferry from the main parking lot to the front gates at Magic Kingdom Park.
The child was on the edge of the lagoon when the alligator attacked in darkness. Various alligator experts have report that alligators are nocturnal and are very difficult to see in the water at night. Only their eyes are above the water surface, and they strike with lightning speed. The grip of their jaws involves thousands of pounds of pressure per square inch.
The alligator was believed to be 4-7 feet long, but the length was not confirmed. A gator less than 7 feet is unlikely to attack an adult human. In 2015, there were nine major unprovoked attacks by alligators in Florida with one fatality.
New Search Phase: An alligator grabbed a 2-year-old boy near a Disney World resort, dragging the toddler into the Seven Seas Lagoon. Orange County Sheriff’s spokesperson Jeff Williamson joins CBSN to discuss the search and recovery operation.
Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife and private alligator trappers also responded to the scene. disney already had boats in the water immediately.
Wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin discusses the rare alligator attack at a Disney resort in Florida that left a 2-year-old missing.
Wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin said alligators don’t normally attack humans. Much of the land surrounding DisneyWorld is ideal alligator habitat. Disney removes large alligators as part of regular surveillance to reduce the risk of attacks by the larger alligators that are perceived as a greater risk of danger in Florida.
Wildlife expert Jack Hanna discusses the alligator attack at a Walt Disney World resort in Florida, and warned that humans should never get within 40-50 feet of an alligator because they can outrun a human in 20 feet.
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