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Police hunt for toddler dragged by alligator into lagoon at Disney resort

An alligator swims in the waters at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida.
An alligator swims in the waters at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida.
An alligator swims in the waters at Wakodahatchee Wetlands in Delray Beach, Florida.
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There is "no question" that a 2-year-old boy who was dragged by an alligator into a lagoon at Walt Disney World resort in Florida is dead, the local sheriff said today.

"We know that this is a recovery effort at this point," Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings told a news conference, about 15 hours after the child was attacked by the gator.

Police were hunting today for the toddler who was dragged by an alligator into a lagoon at Walt Disney World in front of his family hours earlier, despite the parents' efforts to rescue their child.

The boy was attacked by the reptile about 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday at the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista near Orlando, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.

The boy was playing in the water while his family, vacationing from Nebraska, relaxed on the shore nearby, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings told a news conference.

"The father entered the water and tried to grab the child and was not successful," Demings said.

The mother also tried to rescue the boy and the father suffered hand injuries, he added. The family has not been named.

"As a father, as a grandfather we are going to hope for the best in these circumstances but, based on my 35 years of law enforcement experience, we know we have some challenges ahead of us," Demings told reporters.

He said the animal was thought to be between 4 and 7 feet (1.2 and 2 meters) long.

Wildlife and marine officials were drafted into the search, which ran through the night.

"We're putting every effort into locating the child and trapping this alligator," Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer Chad Weber told reporters.

A spokeswoman for Walt Disney World Resort said everyone there was devastated by the tragic accident. "Our thoughts are with the family and we are helping the family," she said.

On May 28, a 3-year-old boy fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, causing zookeepers to kill a gorilla to protect the child.

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Tags:  US  United States  alligator  lagoon  Walt Disney World  resort  toddler  





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