Who is responsible when an accident befalls a child at a popular family resort? Yesterday a toddler was snatched by an alligator from the shallow end of a lagoon in a Disney World complex of hotels, the second tragedy to hit Orlando this week. The boy was dragged out into the water and has not yet been found. According to the CNN report in the video, the search for the child is ongoing.
The video states very clearly that the father made every effort to pull his son from the alligator’s jaws. In spite of that, people are already tweeting that the parents are responsible for this tragedy.
— Penny DiCarlo (@pennydicarlo) June 15, 2016
— sameen (@sameen_irfan) June 15, 2016
— Political Nerd (@Sttbs73) June 15, 2016
The parents can be easily held responsible if a sign was up, yet they allowed their child to be in dangerous water. One report from the Inquisitr states that the resort is adamant that there are “no swimming” signs.
However, according to a report in The Guardian, vacationers at the resort said there are no signs warning visitors not to go into the water. One of the guests expressed horror at the incident, saying that he had been wading in that exact same spot the previous evening. The parents’ fellow guests did not seem to believe the toddler’s parents were responsible for what happened.
Whether or not there was a warning sign, some tweeters are asking why a 2-year-old toddler was not in bed asleep at 9 p.m. Others responded with the quip that it was a vacation, after all. The fact remains that tweeters were questioning the degree to which the parents of the toddler were responsible for him having been snatched by an alligator.
Not many people have made any connection yet between the alligator incident and the incident in which a 3-year-old boy fell into the gorilla enclosure in Cincinnati Zoo last month. One tweet, however, does question how kids are involved in such tragic accidents when they obviously need to be kept close by at all times.
How are kids ending up in gorilla enclosures and gator's mouths when I couldn't even go to the bathroom alone #DisneyGatorAttack
— lorely (@astoriha) June 15, 2016
As reported in Inquisitr, police decided not to lay charges in the case of the parents whose child fell into Harambe’s enclosure. They viewed security camera videos and saw that the boy’s mother was attentive to her three children and, therefore, not negligent or criminally responsible for the accident. Anyone with children knows how fast a toddler can move – their small size is deceptive.
The Mirror reported on the new security fences erected around the gorilla enclosure. This has not prevented children from trying to climb the fence. While family entertainment centers can do their best to ensure visitor safety, it is ultimately parents who are responsible for their kids. Accidents do happen, even to families with the most responsible parents.
It is far too early to start assigning responsibility for the accident in which the alligator snatched the toddler from the shallow waters of the Disney World lagoon. But when it will be time to investigate the incident, security arrangements at the holiday resort will most likely be closely examined.
If there are no signs up near the water warning people about alligators, then there obviously should be. This is Florida, after all. And everyone knows that there are alligators in Florida. I imagine that people feel safe with their children at a Disney World resort. Disney World means “children’s world” and that implies that the resort would take care and be responsible for the safety of its small visitors.
Furthermore, the resort should have considered itself forewarned. The Mirror reported that a family from the U.K. had a close call with an alligator on the same lagoon just two months ago. One evening, parents were forced to run for their lives with their kids when an alligator lunged out of the water at a hotel not far from the Floridian. A responsible vacation spot would provide ample warning to visiting families to stay away from the water, after dark at least.
Even more damning is the accusation that Disney World, the company that built and maintains the lagoon, does nothing to ensure that alligators do not infiltrate the resort from the natural bay just beyond it. One critic made a video accusing Disney World of being negligent and commenters agree with him.
If this is true, then criminal charges may be imminent. Of course, this is not what the worried parents are concerned with at this moment.
Responsible parents can also make errors of judgement. But a responsible resort should make sure that those errors of judgement do not mean than kids are at risk of being snatched up from the water by an alligator!
[Photo by Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Images]