'˜Two alligators' targeted toddler in fatal Disney attack

The father of a toddler killed by an alligator at a Disney resort last month told rescue officials two reptiles were involved in the attack.

A new sign warns holidaymakers at Disneys Grand Floridian Resort of the dangers of alligators following the death of Lane Graves. Picture: AP

Matt Graves said he was attacked by a second alligator as he tried to reach his two-year-old son after the boy was pulled into the water outside Disney’s upscale Grand Floridian Resort.

Reedy Creek Fire Department Captain Tom Wellons described his interaction with the Nebraska father in e-mails to his supervisors obtained by The Orlando Sentinel.

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Capt Wellons said Mr Graves initially refused to leave the area as rescuers searched for little Lane Graves, even though the father needed stitches and antibiotics from alligator bite marks.

Capt Wellons said he eventually persuaded Mr Graves to get medical treatment, promising he could return afterward.

On the way to the hospital, Mr Graves shared “the horror that he experienced” as his son was being pulled into the water and “how another gator attacked him as he fought for his son”, according to the e-mail to supervisors.

The messages were forwarded to Orange County officials to alert them there may be a second alligator.

The boy’s body was discovered intact about 15 yards from the shore, six feet under water.

Signs posted in the area advised against swimming but did not warn of alligators. In the days after the attack Walt Disney posted signs warning of alligators in the area.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials have said they are “confident” they caught the alligator that killed the boy.

Agency records listed 15 alligators caught on Disney property from the beginning of this year through to May. It did not include the six trapped since the June 14 attack.

The boy was snatched at about 9.30pm from the shoreline of the Seven Seas Lagoon, an artificial lake at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, where the family, from Elkhorn, Nebraska, had been staying.

Guests had been enjoying an open-air film and were watching fireworks from the nearby Magic Kingdom theme park when the alligator, estimated by officials at between four and seven feet, attacked.

Jeff Williamson, spokesman for the Orange County sheriff’s office, said the family, including the boy’s four-year-old sister, were on the shoreline at the resort’s lake, with the toddler wading at the edge of the water with his parents close by.

“He was about a foot in, maybe ankle-deep or a little higher,” Mr Williamson said.

“The father was very close by. He heard what sounded like a splash, he turned, he thought the splash was something innocent, but of course there was nothing innocent. He saw his child in the mouth of the gator.”