Father Of Toddler Killed By Alligator At Disney World Says He Was Attacked By Second Gator As He Attempted To Save Son

A 2-year-old little boy, Lane Graves, was killed by an alligator at Disney World as he waded in the Seven Seas Lagoon near the Grand Floridian Resort. The little boy was reportedly dragged into the water by an alligator as his father watched in horror. The father quickly went into the water and attempted to pry his son from the jaws of the beast, but claims he was attacked by a second alligator. After fighting off the second gator, the father continued trying to pry his son from the other alligator’s grasp but was unsuccessful. The alligator would disappear beneath the water with the child still in its mouth.

The Daily Mail reports that the alligator attack at Disney World’s Seven Seas Lagoon may have involved two gators. Toddler Lane Graves was killed after he was snatched from the beach near the Grand Floridian Resort by an alligator. The Nebraska family was visiting Disney World and were spending an evening relaxing on the beach when the fatal attack took place. The parents were reportedly sitting on the beach watching as Lane splashed in shallow waters a few feet away in the Seven Seas Lagoon. Though “no swimming” signs were posted on the beach, there were no signs indicating alligator activity and the family did not realize the grave danger their son was in until it was too late.

An alligator reportedly quickly came up into the shallow water and grabbed the child, dragging him back into the water. The father, Matt Graves, told authorities that after the child was taken into the water by the gator, he ran to rescue his son and attempted to pry the child from the alligator’s mouth. However, as he was attempting to save his toddler son, the father claims that a second alligator attacked him. After fighting off the second gator, the father turned his attention to the first gator and again tried retrieving his son from its jaws. Sadly, before Matt Graves could pry his son free, the alligator would retreat under the water with the child still in its mouth.

Capt. Tom Wellons, of the Reedy Creek Fire Department, heard the father’s harrowing story and had his Assistant Chief Stan Paynter forward an email to Orange County officials noting that a second gator may have been involved in the attack. Wellons noted that Matt Graves had injuries consistent with an alligator attack on his arms from the attack with teeth marks present. Likewise, a Disney guest sitting on his balcony in his Grand Floridian room was a witness to the attack and the mayhem that followed.

The guest revealed that the whole attack lasted just about 30 seconds and that the child and gator were completely gone in about one minute. The Disney guest says that he saw the boy and the struggle in the water with the father occur as a Disney lifeguard nearby began running towards the scene telling everyone to get away from the water. Meanwhile, the guest says that the toddler’s mother was frantic on the beach as she was running up and down looking for the child.

“He said ‘Everybody get out of the water.’ The mother was there and she was frantic, running up and down looking.”

The Orlando Sentinel also reported that a second alligator was likely involved in the attack and reveals that the Reedy Creek Fire Department captain was the one that finally talked Matt Graves into seeking medical care for his alligator bite wounds. The father reportedly refused to leave the scene of the alligator attack as authorities searched for his missing son, despite large lacerations on his arm. Eventually, Capt. Tom Wellons was able to talk the father into seeking medical care and it was on the way to the hospital that he learned of the second gator.

Following the ordeal, Disney World has taken measures to ensure another horrific gator attack does not take place on their property. The Grand Floridian now has alligator warning signs on all of their beaches with a fence erected in the beach area which will keep guests from wading into the water. Meanwhile, it is reported that five alligators have been recovered and euthanized including the one they believe to have killed the toddler.

Lane Graves’ body was recovered 17 hours after the attack fully “intact.” The child reportedly died from drowning but had lacerations and other injuries consistent with the alligator attack.

[Image via Shutterstock]