Disney Alligator Attack: Family Releases Emotional Statement, Prepares For Funeral

The Disney alligator attack has been in the headlines all week after a 2-year-old boy was killed by a gator at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a family of four from Nebraska were enjoying an outdoor movie at the resort when the unthinkable happened. Lane Graves had been wading in the waters of the Seven Seas Lagoon after 9:00 p.m. when an alligator came on to the sand and grabbed him. Although there are “No Swimming” signs posted on the beach area, many children hang out in the shallow waters.

There were not any alligator warning signs posted in the area at the time of this attack.

The Graves family has returned home and is preparing to lay their little boy to rest. According to KETV, Lane’s parents, Melissa and Matt, released the following statement.

“Melissa and I continue to deal with the loss of our beloved boy, Lane, and are overwhelmed with the support and love we have received from family and friends in our community as well as from around the country. We understand the public’s interest, but as we move forward this weekend, we ask for and appreciate the privacy we need to lay our son to rest. Neither Melissa, myself or anyone from our family will be speaking publicly; we simply cannot at this time.”

The Disney alligator attack has changed this family’s life forever. The next couple of days will understandably be hard for the Graves family as they attend the wake and funeral for Lane. According to WOWT Omaha News, the services for Lane will be held on Monday and Tuesday.

A wake for the little boy will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Elkhart, Nebraska, at 3 p.m. CT on Monday, June 20. A funeral will be held at the same church the following morning, Tuesday, June 21, at 10 CT.

Following the Disney alligator attack, Disney beaches have been closed. According to CNN, Walt Disney World has released a statement about their plans moving forward. Walt Disney World Vice President Jacquee Wahler said that a review is being conducted and that suggests that there will be new, more appropriate signage at these beach areas.

“We are conducting a swift and thorough review of all of our processes and protocols. This includes the number, placement and wording of our signage and warnings.”

While Disney hopes to never have this kind of tragedy occur on their property again, they understand that Orlando, Florida, is home to dangerous reptiles. Wahler explained that Disney is aware of this and that alligators have been removed from time to time.

“We have a large property, and from time to time, we have to remove alligators from our property. Nearly one-third of Walt Disney World property is set aside as a conservation area and these areas attract a variety of native wildlife,” she said.

It is unknown if the Graves family is planning to sue Walt Disney World or how the company has helped them cope. Officials have said that Disney has never experienced something like this. While there have been deaths on property, a gator attack has never previously been the cause.

Since 1973, 23 people have been killed by alligators in the state of Florida, according to CNN.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]