Family 'devastated' by fatal gator attack at Disney

Beaches closed at Disney resorts, warning signs being added

By JAY REEVES, Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. - The parents of a Nebraska toddler killed by an alligator at a Walt Disney World resort say they're devastated by the death of their son.

A statement by Matt and Melissa Graves of Elkhorn, Nebraska, says words can't express the shock and grief their family is experiencing.

They are thanking authorities in Orlando for their assistance after the gator grabbed 2-year-old Lane Graves from shallow water in a lake at a Disney hotel.

An alligator described as being as long as 7 feet snatched the little boy as he waded in shallow water Tuesday night. The beach had "no swimming" signs but none warning about alligators.

The company says it will now add gator warnings. No time frame is being announced, and the resort's beaches remain closed.

Meanwhile, Jason Kershanick was just 9 years old when he saw a huge alligator leap out of a lake and kill his 4-year-old playmate in their Florida neighborhood.

Now 37, he remembers the gruesome 1988 attack "like it was yesterday."

So it hit him hard when an alligator snatched Lane this week at Disney.

He was just steps away when a bull gator more than 10 feet long surged toward Erin Lynn Glover as she splashed through ankle-deep water in Englewood, Florida, at the edge of the Everglades.

Game officers killed the beast hours later, her body still in its jaws.

He suspects that few of the tourists at Disney World realize the mortal danger that can lurk wherever there's fresh water in Florida.

 

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