Society

Disney Knew Of Alligator Before Child Died (Photos)

| by Sheena Vasani
Lane GravesLane Graves

A new report reveals a tourist had warned Disney's Grand Floridian Resort staff of an alligator nearby only 45 minutes before it killed a toddler from Nebraska.

On June 14, 2-year-old Lane Graves was crushed before drowning to death after the alligator grabbed the boy and attacked him, reports the Daily Mail.

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission now reveals staff knew the alligator was near the shore after North Carolina tourist, Shawna Giacomini, warned them.

Giacomini's daughter had first noticed the creature before alerting her. Giacomini's daughter reported the alligator to the staff at 8:15 p.m., before going to a store.

When they came back at 9 p.m., Lane had already been attacked.

Several others also reported the alligator before Giacomini's daughter informed staff.

Alfred Smith even took a photo of the creature swimming in the lagoon an hour and a half before it killed Lane.

Although the Grave family has since stressed it does not plan to sue Walt Disney World, many are upset the resort did not have signs at the time to warn tourists of alligators.

Instead, the company installed a "No Swimming" sign, which many said was not adequate.

Since Lane died, the resort has built a stone wall to prevent tourists from entering the lagoon where the child died. More accurate signs have also been installed.

"As a parent and a grandparent, my heart goes out to the Graves family during this time of devastating loss," Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger said to the family, ABC News reports. "My thoughts and prayers are with them, and I know everyone at Disney joins me in offering our deepest sympathies."  

Lane had not even been swimming in the lagoon when the alligator grabbed the child and dragged him to his death at night.

Consequently, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report officially labeled it a predator attack.

Lane's body was later found "completely intact" 10 to 15 yards away from the shore.

Witnesses recall the terrifying moment the 7-foot alligator dragged the 2-year-old child away from his parents.

"The alligator came in head first, toward the beach, but turned around once it had the child in its mouth and crawled back into the water headfirst," 16-year-old Peter Courakos said.

Sources: Daily Mail, ABC News / Photo credit: Daily Mail