Following the death of a 2-year-old from an alligator attack at Walt Disney World in Orlando, new evidence has emerged that suggests the park should have known about the dangers posed by alligators.
Among the reports that have come to light since the death of Lane Graves is a video recently uncovered by Inside Edition showing a park employee beating away an alligator near the Space Mountain ride. Visitors are oblivious that just feet away a deadly animal is lurking in the lagoon.
In another report by The Wrap, numerous employees have raised concerns over guests feeding alligators. Most notably, guests staying at the Bora Bora Bungalows, which opened since April 2015, have been known to feed alligators. That same body of water connects to the Seven Seas Lagoon where the toddler was fatally dragged to his death.
The boy’s father reportedly wrestled with the gator, trying to get it to release the boy, but he lost the fight. A day later rescue workers found the boy’s body and determined he died from drowning and blunt force trauma.
Since the incident, the beaches at all Disney World beaches has been closed and a fence has been erected where the Lane Graves was taken.
“Disney knew these alligators had become desensitized to humans, as they had begun to associate guests with food, and did not act in a proactive manner,” one individual told TheWrap.
A custodian at the Grand Floridian told the Orlando Sentinel that he was so concerned about alligators in the Seven Seas Lagoon that he warned managers to put up a fence earlier.
“There are signs that say, ‘No swimming,’ but no signs that say gators and everything else in this lake,” he told the paper.
One former Disney employee described the situation as virtually impossible to keep alligators off the resort properties.
“The entire property is interconnected via canals so it is difficult to keep them out of the lakes,” former Disney executive Duncan Dickson said in an email to the Orlando Sentinel. “Gators are on all of the golf courses. The team attempts to relocate the gators to the uninhabited natural areas as best they can, but the gators don’t understand the boundaries.”