Wildlife officials have so far killed five alligators while trying to find the one that dragged a two-year-old boy into the depths of the lagoon near a Disney World resort.
After a toddler was dragged to his death near a Disney World resort by an alligator, there has been a huge uproar about safety, with angry and concerned parents demanding additional safety protocols. Now, wildlife officials in Florida are working overtime to investigate the incident, and more specifically, have begun hunting for the alligator that dragged the boy into water resulting in the kid’s death. So far, officials have trapped and killed five alligators, and are in the process of confirming if one of them was the killer gator, shared Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,
“We’re going to make certain that we have the alligator that was involved.”
According to eyewitnesses, the boy was playing along the edges of an artificial pond at the Grand Floridian. He was in about just a foot of water and wasn’t swimming, when an alligator crept up next to the boy and grabbed him. The alligator then proceeded to drag the boy into the water. Though bystanders and the boy’s parents tried to free the boy, the determined alligator didn’t let go. The father even jumped in the water to get the reptile’s jaw open, but his efforts were futile against the large creature that was in its element.
Deepest condolences to the Graves family. Thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/nXaRrgjLhl
— OCSO FL News (@OrangeCoSheriff) June 16, 2016
Despite a massive manhunt, the boy wasn’t found for more than 15 hours. With chances of finding the kid alive diminishing by the hour, local law enforcement announced that they were changing their search efforts from rescue to recovery. The boy’s body later surfaced not far from where he was grabbed by the alligator. According to Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, the boy’s body was discovered on Wednesday in about 6 feet water, mere 10 to 15 yards from the shore the Inquisitr had reported earlier. He added that it is more than likely the boy was pulled into deep water where he died by drowning,
“There’s likely no question in my mind that the child was drowned by the alligator.”
Subsequent to the incident, officers carefully laid traps and have so far managed to snag and kill five alligators, reported NBC News. They will now take samples of the bite marks and conduct other tests to confirm if one of the five alligators was the one that dragged the boy. According to eyewitnesses, the alligator was between six and seven feet in length. While the officials haven’t confirmed the sizes of all the reptiles they have caught, the largest was reported to be about seven-and-a-half feet long. The officials are confident they may have caught the reptile that responsible, shared Wiley.
“There is a good chance we already have the alligator, because we focused our efforts in that proximity, in that area where this incident occurred. If we can’t get a certain match, we’re going to continue to go out and look for alligators and make sure we have done everything we can and all the due diligence to make sure we have taken that alligator out.”
In other words, in case none of the alligators are confirmed to be the killer gator, officials will lay down more traps and attempt to catch a few more.
Incidentally, though alligators are a common feature in Florida, there have been very few reported incidents of they attacking humans. According to official records which date back to 1948, only 23 people have died in alligator attacks since 1973, reported USA Today.
The internet is currently divided. While many continue to blame the parents, calling them irresponsible, others are citing lack of warning signs.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]