Following the death of 2-year-old Lane Graves after he was snatched by an alligator from a beach at a Disney resort on Tuesday, June 14, questions regarding the company’s responsibility began to crop up.
There are an estimated 1.3 million alligators in the state of Florida according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The agency frequently warns visitors that they should be careful due to the abundance of wildlife in the state, and there are signs posted all around designated swimming areas and walkways in state parks warning of the presence of alligators posted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protections.
Graves reportedly waded some inches into the waters of the man-made Seven Seas Lagoon outside the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa before he was attacked. According to authorities, he was the only one present in the waters at the time of the attack. Signs warned visitors against swimming in the Lagoon, but there were no signs specifically mentioning the presence of alligators.
Disney plans to review the situation for the future, but officials noted that this was the first alligator attack in Disney World’s nearly half century of operations.
Legal experts are currently discussing the legal implications of the tragic event, covering topics including Disney World’s knowledge of the presence of alligators, the protections for visitors put in place, and whether or not the resort had previous knowledge of alligators in their waters, and what they had done previously to mitigate the issue.