ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said on Wednesday it is "confident" it has caught the alligator that dragged a toddler underwater in a lagoon at a Disney resort.
FWC said it is suspending the alligator trapping activities in the area of the Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort after the attack June 14. FWC continued the round-the-clock monitoring and trapping until the gator was positively identified or all alligators fitting the description of the responsible animal had been removed.
A dive team found the toddler, Lane Graves, dead on June 15. An autopsy showed the boy died from drowning and traumatic injuries.
FWC said since Lane's death, six alligators were removed from the area, with three in the size believed to fit the one that attacked the boy, with two of the the three being near the incident location.
"Based on past experience, the alligator responsible is usually located in close proximity to the attack site," FWC said in a release.
No additional alligators of the size capable of the attack were trapped or spotted since June 16, and the area is a poor alligator habitat that will not support a large population of adult alligators, according to officials.
FWC said that they came to the conclusion that the alligator responsible for the attack was removed based on "expert analyses and observations by staff with extensive experience in investigating fatal alligator bite incidents."
“There are no words to describe the profound sadness we feel for the family of Lane Graves,” said Nick Wiley, executive director of the FWC in a release. “We will continue to keep this family close to our hearts as they deal with the pain and grief of the loss of Lane.”
The boy's family was at a movie night outdoors at the Grand Floridian resort when around 9 p.m. the boy waded into about a foot of water in the Seven Seas Lagoon, authorities said. His father jumped in and tried to pry the gator's mouth open.
FWC said in its release on Wednesday that alligator attacks are a very rare occurrence in Florida.
The beach at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is across a lake from the Magic Kingdom.