Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials believe they have caught and killed the alligator who attacked a 2-year-old at a Disney resort.
“This conclusion is based on expert analyses and observations by staff with extensive experience in investigating fatal alligator bite incidents,” the agency said in a statement.
Six alligators were removed from the man-made lagoon surrounding the Grand Floridian resort, where toddler Lane Graves was attacked while playing near the water’s edge.
“Two of the animals captured were in close proximity to the incident location,” the statement said. “Based on past experience, the alligator responsible is usually located in close proximity to the attack site. While results of a bite analysis were inconclusive, subject matter experts were able to conclude that either of the two suspect alligators captured near the attack site were capable of inflicting the observed wounds.”
Soon after the attack, Disney closed beaches on the resort property and later said it would install alligator warning signs. Previously the posted signs merely said no swimming.
“There are no words to describe the profound sadness we feel for the family of Lane Graves,” said FWC executive director Nick Wiley. “We will continue to keep this family close to our hearts as they deal with the pain and grief of the loss of Lane.”
The agency notes that alligator attacks on people are rare. If you’re in Florida and spot a nuisance gator, call the Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286). The agency “uses contracted nuisance alligator trappers throughout the state to remove alligators believed to pose a threat to people, pets or property.”