A video taken at the Splash Mountain ride at Disney World in Florida shows a park employee fighting off an alligator near the ride.
The incident, filmed in 2009, was posted online this week following the death of a 2-year-old boy who was dragged into the water by an alligator at one of Disney’s resorts in Orlando, Florida.
In the clip, the small gator is seen in the water as an employee pokes at it. The reptile eventually gets next to a pathway before the employee hits it with a pool cleaning stick. When it goes back in the water, the worker hits the water near it.
The video then pans up to customers riding the Splash Mountain ride.
Inside Edition originally posted the clip online.
Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said Disney workers commonly remove alligators near the park. “Any time they see an alligator or a complaint is called in, it can be taken out,” he said at a press conference on June 15.
Since the death of the boy, identified as Lane Graves, there have been complaints and criticism saying Disney should have put up better signage. Previously, Disney had “No Swimming” signs up. Now, according to a Disney spokesperson on June 17, Disney has a sign that reads in bold: “Danger. Alligators and snakes in area. Stay away from the water. Do not feed the wildlife.”
“We are installing signage and temporary barriers at our resort beach locations and are working on permanent, long-term solutions at our beaches. We continue to evaluate processes and procedures for our entire property, and, as part of this, we are reinforcing training with our Cast for reporting sightings and interactions with wildlife and are expanding our communication to Guests on this topic,” Jacquee Wahler, Vice President, Walt Disney World Resort, told Epoch Times in a statement on Friday.
Signs are up at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort w/ temporary barriers at the same beach where a toddler was killed. pic.twitter.com/BSv2HzZczH
— Gio Benitez (@GioBenitez) June 17, 2016
Some lawyers have said that Lane’s parents could potentially sue Disney.
“If Disney had notice that its lagoons could attract alligators, or that alligators were present in its lagoons, it would have a duty to protect those that it welcomes to its premises. It would also have superior knowledge of the specific risk, an alligator, than a family visiting from Nebraska,” Michael E. Perez, a lawyer at the Warshauer Law Group in Atlanta, Georgia, told Epoch Times via email.
“This was not a family visit to the swamp or a wildlife center, it was a visit to a highly regulated and controlled theme park.”