Disney World to Reopen Beaches After Deadly Alligator Attack
Disney World announced Thursday that it is reopening beaches more than a week after an alligator dragged a 2-year-old boy to his death.
“Resort beaches are now available to guests one hour after sunrise until one hour prior to sunset,” said Disney in a statement obtained by Local 10 TV in Florida. “These areas now include signage and temporary barriers to further promote safety at our resort and we continue to work on permanent, long-term solutions. Cast Members will staff the beaches to assist Guests.”
The beaches will now open one hour after sunrise and will close an hour sunset, a source told CNN.
Last week, Disney unveiled new signs and temporary barriers around the lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spat where the boy was killed.
The statement comes a day after Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) officials confirmed that the alligator responsible for the death of the boy, Lane Graves, was caught. The alligator was subsequently euthanized, the FWC said in a statement on Wednesday.
Disney beaches reopen only during daylight hours; state believes it caught gator that killed boy. https://t.co/shNfe2QAn3
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 23, 2016
“There are no words to describe the profound sadness we feel for the family of Lane Graves,” said Nick Wiley, chief of the FWC. “We will continue to keep this family close to our hearts as they deal with the pain and grief of the loss of Lane.”
Since last week, the FWC said it carried out “intense round-the-clock monitoring and trapping efforts” to find the alligator involved in Lane’s death.
“During the investigation, trappers humanely removed six alligators from the area. No additional alligators of the size capable of the attack have been observed or taken since June 16,” the FWC said.
Since 2006, Disney has captured and killed 244 alligators at its parks. They ranged from 4 to 13 feet in length, Local 10 reported, citing a report.
Alligators, while extremely common in Florida, rarely attack people. In April, the FWC said there were nine attacks in Florida in 2015, resulting in one fatality. There were 10 alligator attacks in 2014.
On June 22, a 58-year-old man was hospitalized after he was bitten on the leg by a 9-foot-long alligator in Bushnell, Florida, about 50 miles from where Graves was attacked. The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said he was airlifted to Ocala Regional Medical Center.