June 16, 2016

"There was a 'no swimming' sign. I thought it must be because the water wasn't clean enough and/or there was no on duty lifeguard."

"It never occurred to me until reading this story that I needed to be concerned about alligators. I am not from Florida and it never occurred to me. If I had been alerted to the danger by Disney, I would not have let my kids play on the shore. I am sure these parents would not have either."

Comment on "Divers Find Body of Toddler Snatched by Alligator at Disney Resort" by a person who stayed at Disney World recently with 2 little kids who "loved the beach there." ("They made sand castles, ran up and down the shore, pulled sea grass from the water and stuck their toes into the lagoon with the dozens of other children doing the same thing.") Somebody else says "Why put anything approximating a beach on it when the resort is well aware that it is murky, impossible to keep alligators out and your customer base is mostly families with small children?" And: "Wading is not swimming. If the danger was alligators, the sign should say so. You don't get no swimming signs in Lake Michigan when the danger is rip currents, the sign tells you there are rip currents. How can you expect some folks from Nebraska, hundreds of miles from Florida, to understand that no swimming really means you might be attacked by an alligator?"

95 comments:

Michael K said...

Every water hole in Florida has alligators. Disney has a big liability here.

eric said...

This story really baffles me. We have been to Disney world several times. I was, at first, mystified by all the fences around pools down there in Florida. It didn't take long to learn it's because of the alligators.

Disney world is built on a freaking swamp.

How could they not know alligators would get into their bodies of water?

Someone really dropped the ball here.

Gahrie said...

Every water hole in Florida has alligators. Disney has a big liability here.

There really is no way of keeping gators out of water holes in Florida....there are millions of them, constantly looking for better homes/hunting grounds. If you patrolled daily, you still couldn't keep them out.

rhhardin said...

It won't go to court.

Incidentally I'm waiting for a Chandra Levy to show up. It was shark attacks in 2001.

rhhardin said...

It is an opportunity for a Captain Hook ride.

Bob Ellison said...

At the Grand Canyon, there are no "don't stand for a selfie with you back to three inches from certain death" signs.

The Godfather said...

It's fine for Disney to put up "Beware of Alligators" signs, but that's only a partial measure. Yesterday I proposed hunting alligators to extinction (outside of zoos, etc.) If we won't do that, at least the State of Florida should be required to post a large sign on every road into Florida reading "Welcome to Florida. We have Alligators." Similar signs could be required for South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas.

Actually, that's really not enough. They also ought to worn people about cottonmouth snakes, rattlesnakes, and coral snakes. And in south Florida at least there ought to be a warning about all the uninsured incompetent drivers.

david7134 said...

There are no swimming sighs, it does not have to do with alligators, the signs state that it is because of amoeba that get in your system and eat your liver and brain. I might add that I have lived in the South my whole life and can assure you that no one with half a brain from our region would get near that lake. Alligators, are one small problem. There are also moccasins and other creatures that move at night and use the water. In fact, I am surprised that there have not been snake bites around there. Over the last several years, the mosquitoes have increased and changed so they now carry disease, so most people of the South would stay clear of water when the sun starts down. In the end, if you come down here understand it is not the same as anything up North and danger is every where.

As to a successful suit against Disney, no, not a chance. Disney might settle to shut it up and be nice. But, Disney works very hard to keep the area safe.

traditionalguy said...

Alligators are fast runners on land. They are amphibians who hide in water awaiting prey along the shore.

They are designed to jump ashore and clamp down their jaws once on animal prey using teeth as grabbers.

Then they drag their catch alive back into the water and thrash it around under water until it is drowned. But they cannot chew up fresh meat with their mouth, so they must stash the dead meat in a hidden place under water to rot it until it has softened to a texture they can swallow.

This family should own DisneyWorld as soon as a good trial lawyer can finish his work.

Brando said...

I have to agree that where you have a man-made lagoon that you know alligators may infest, you ought to put warning signs up. A lot of tourists might (not unreasonably) assume the park operators have secured those features against alligators if tourists are allowed to wade into them.

Nonapod said...

I'm a little surprised that in our super litigious society a company as massive as Disney wouldn't do everything it possibly could to ensure that their warning postings were clear and specific about the danger. Guess this one slipped through the cracks.

George Vie said...

The Godfather said: "Similar signs could be required for South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas."

Have you omitted Louisiana because its licensed hunters catch 30,000 or so alligators a year, or because all of the bayous and swamps make the risk of gators "open and obvious" -- even to those from the Midwest?

The Drill SGT said...

Here is a great video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM

BDNYC said...

At least no one hastily killed the alligator that might have only been trying to protect the child.

Jason said...

We need to ban meat eating.

For the children.

Jason said...

Clearly, we need to pass a law prohibiting alligators from biting children.

They will surely obey.

And then we can let children romp unprotected at the edge of Florida lakes and waterways, and know they'll be safe.

Jason said...

Calls for University of Florida to change their mascot in 3...2...1...

traditionalguy said...

BTW, many partial Floridians are survivors of gator attacks. I say partial Floridians because a survivor will have left his arm behind to pull away and escape. Once a gator's Jaws close, they cannot be forced back open.

Needless to say, these partial Floridians really do not like alligators much. Christian forgiveness seems to be missing from their hearts; and they seem to have become REALISTS about cute gators.They deem them an enemy and they give them no favors.

Bay Area Guy said...

It's such a sad story. Hard to fathom losing a child, let alone in such a grisly manner.

Disney will be sued, and will hire big time lawyers who will bill a million or 2 in defense fees. At some point Disney will pay a 7 figure settlement (which is peanuts to them) and life will go on. Disney will also hire a PR firm to make sure this doesn't stick, in the social/cultural/media world -- too many millions of tourist dollars at stake.

I'm not saying this is bad, it's just how things work.

rehajm said...

I'm a little surprised that in our super litigious society a company as massive as Disney wouldn't do everything it possibly could to ensure that their warning postings were clear and specific about the danger.

There was a period in the park's history when the legal warnings were everywhere- every ride, every show, every staircase, every moving walkway had a written and recorded verbal warning of any possible and impossible scenario. It got so bad guests complained it ruined the experience. Disney had seemed to have found a happy medium between liability and enjoyment. Before this accident, anyways...

Original Mike said...

" In the end, if you come down here understand it is not the same as anything up North and danger is every where."

Sounds wonderful.

CWJ said...

"...if you come down here understand it is not the same as anything up North and danger is every where."

Disney World's customer base is worldwide. How reasonable is it to expect the typical guest to have the knowledge and experience of a Floridian?

"As to a successful suit against Disney, no, not a chance. Disney might settle to shut it up and be nice. But, Disney works very hard to keep the area safe."

LOL. Except when it self-evidently isn't safe. Disney puts a huge marketing emphasis upon providing a reliably clean and safe family experience for everyone, not just regionally wise Southerners. That emphasis alone is sufficient to make the suit a slam dunk.

Original Mike said...

"Disney World's customer base is worldwide. How reasonable is it to expect the typical guest to have the knowledge and experience of a Floridian?"

I saw a guy on television last night who blamed the parents for "not doing their research". What a putz.

Mark said...

Do they need signs saying that there are snakes in the underbrush and sharks in the ocean too?

Roughcoat said...

Yesterday I proposed hunting alligators to extinction (outside of zoos, etc.)

Why stop with Alligators? Let's hunt Southerners to extinction too. Nuke the entire South from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

CWJ said...

It's score tied the bottom of the ninth two out with Plaintiff Barr at the plate. Walt Disney on the mound trying to take this to extra innings. Disney shakes off the sign. He's going to throw what he wants. Oh no! It's a big slow hanging curve, and Barr knocks it out of the park. This one's over folks.

The Drill SGT said...

Nuke the entire South from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

That would exempt both Atlanta and all of Florida, both of which are no longer Southern.

David Begley said...

I would love to see a bounty program started by the State of FL to cut down on gators.

Gabriel said...

That two-year-old could easily have drowned in some other way on that beach. And kids only take a minute to drown. They drown in knee-deep water all the time. They drown in bathtubs. They drown in buckets.

I mean, it's an awful thing that happened but any number of other awful things could have happened which Disney did not put up signage anticipating. And alligators had never attacked children on that beach before.

When you shake your head at warning labels that seem to assume some form of cognitive impairment in the reader, this is why.

Michael K said...

A lot of tourists might (not unreasonably) assume the park operators have secured those features against alligators if tourists are allowed to wade into them.

Disney has made a multi-billion dollar industry of telling people that animals are cute and you can play with them.

They are not going hurt that brand. The settlement will be generous and they can only hope the family keeps the bargain as well as Mary Jo Kopechne's family did.

Roughcoat said...

That would exempt both Atlanta and all of Florida, both of which are no longer Southern.

Feh. No exemptions. Write them off as collateral damage.

bagoh20 said...

A simple fence in the water protecting the beach would make it safe to wade and play at minimal cost. They use nets similarly to keep out sharks on some beaches.

Yancey Ward said...

Do we know that signs specifically warning of alligators aren't actually there?

Hagar said...

How about the various species of pythons left loose and propagating in Florida? (and in adjacent states?)
Mountain lions, though probably called pumas or something, since Florida has no mountains.
Zika virus.
Etc.
Etc.

The warning signs would have to be rather large in order to contain a comprehensive list of critters to look out for.

Tank said...

Mark said...

Do they need signs saying that there are snakes in the underbrush and sharks in the ocean too?


Well, there was a sign. Why not put the word alligators on it?

SeanF said...

BDNYC: At least no one hastily killed the alligator that might have only been trying to protect the child.

You joke, but they killed several alligators during the search for the boy.

David said...

bagoh20 said...
A simple fence in the water protecting the beach would make it safe to wade and play at minimal cost. They use nets similarly to keep out sharks on some beaches.


Really? A fence? You don't think a gator could get over, through or around a fence?

You should apply for a job at Disney. They are probably going to have some openings when this is looked at more carefully.

bagoh20 said...

Just like with gun control laws where only the good people get controlled, the alligators clearly don't respect "No Swimming" signs. Maybe it should have said "No Hunting", but I doubt that would stop them either. Maybe it was a language barrier, and it's also a fact that illiteracy is high among Florida Gators.

Russell Bonds said...

Alligator warning signs are common on Kiawah Island, South Carolina (near Charleston):

http://pensieve.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c61d153ef011570b556d4970b-popup

bagoh20 said...

"Really? A fence? You don't think a gator could get over, through or around a fence?"

No, that's why they use them all the time around small ponds and lakes. I wonder how animals of all kinds have been controlled for millenia. Maybe NASA could work on it.

Earnest Prole said...

It’s Disney’s Great Circle of Life

Tank said...

My future beach club in NC has a sign that reads: "Don't feed the alligators."

This incident gives that sign new meaning I guess.

David said...

I have stayed at the Grand Floridian with my grandkids. The beach in question is immediately adjacent to the pool for the hotel. It's not a natural beach. Disney built it so they could have a beach at the resort. Think this way: They built a inviting little beach for children on a lake they knew had alligators and then then gave no warnings about the danger.

I will say it again: They built a inviting little beach for children on a lake they knew had alligators and then then gave no warnings about the danger.

I'm from South Carolina and I know that children should not be anywhere near the edge a body of water than might have alligators. It doesn't matter if the adult is standing there holding the child's hand, with a gun in the other hand. You don't see the gator until it strikes and it's back in the water with its prey before you can react.

I do not recall what signs were at that beach. I just told my Wisconsin grandkids and their Wisconsin parents to stay away from it. Especially at dusk. Especially a small child. Especially at water's edge.

Why Disney did not do the same for all its guests is beyond comprehension.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I blame global warming. Thanks, Republicans.

Mary Beth said...

It's been several years since we've been to WDW but I remember being told to stay out of the lakes because of alligators. They also told us not to feed them if we saw them. (I wouldn't have anyway but am glad they tell people not to.)

David said...

Baghot20: "No, that's why they use them all the time around small ponds and lakes. I wonder how animals of all kinds have been controlled for millenia. Maybe NASA could work on it."

Way to weasel out of it. You proposed a fence in the water.("A simple fence in the water protecting the beach would make it safe to wade and play at minimal cost. They use nets similarly to keep out sharks on some beaches.") That's quite different.

The Godfather said...

@George Vie: I omitted Louisiana from the states where alligator warning signs should be mandatory solely by oversight. Thanks for catching it. You can be chairman of the Federal Alligator Warning Sign Commission in the Godfather Administration.

Robert said...

According to Wikipedia entry on the Seven Seas Lagoon: "Swimming was originally allowed, but has since been prohibited for safety reasons due to the operation of the rental boats." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Seas_Lagoon

If that's true, swimming wasn't banned because of gators.

It's bizarre Disney wouldn't tell folks about the gators. They have people visiting from all over the world and not everyone is going to know this was a hazard. Especially not in a place as artificial as a theme park. The lagoon itself was built by Disney. People might thing Disney keeps it gator-free.

A neighboring resort with a similar lagoon has alligator signs.



traditionalguy said...

Thinking how Disney could be so stupid about alligators that have always been omnipresent in central Florida makes me wonder if it is because they fired all the local workers so the could hire cheap and serf like foreign workers with no knowledge of local customs.

Open borders worked for Disney investors. But did it leave Americans without expected local customs of caution.

n.n said...

There should be a class action lawsuit identifying the government and unions as providers of substandard but extremely expensive education.

Robert said...

"I will say it again: They built a inviting little beach for children on a lake they knew had alligators and then then gave no warnings about the danger. "

They built the whole lake. And apparently it was built in a way that makes it especially difficult to control alligators: "Officials said the lake is made up of maze-like canals, making it difficult to keep the reptiles out." http://www.omaha.com/news/nebraska/gator-attacks-are-rare-but-bites-increasing-in-florida-as/article_942a0d9c-32fa-11e6-b361-e3f1f017e8dd.html

But it was originally built for both swimming and surfing. "Swimming was originally allowed, but has since been prohibited for safety reasons due to the operation of the rental boats." *** "The Seven Seas Lagoon was originally configured for artificial waves, tall enough to allow surfing. The machine began operation with the opening of the resort in 1971. However, it was soon disabled after causing severe beach erosion...." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Seas_Lagoon

And judging by the statement of the sheriff yesterday, there was nothing at all unusual about a child wading in the water. He implied it was a normal thing there. So apparently no one was warning anybody. In fact, the media found a photo of another child standing in the water in the same spot shortly before the alligator attack. I think I saw that over at TMZ.

Disney is very liable for not having signs or issuing warnings, and I'd think even more so because the whole lake was made by them, not nature. But Disney will probably offer the family a massive amount of money to keep it out of court and make themselves look good.

Anthony said...

What the hell would you feed an alligator anyway? I mean, do people carry around chicken parts to toss around?

Kerani said...

>>>"Really? A fence? You don't think a gator could get over, through or around a fence?"

No, that's why they use them all the time around small ponds and lakes. I wonder how animals of all kinds have been controlled for millennia.


Video of gator climbing a fence.

These are not tame things. They are smarter, faster, and stronger than one generally imagines, and they are not easily intimidated.

Roughcoat said...

In my former home state of Colorado all the parks--municipal, state, national--have signs that not only warn about encountering mountain lions and bears but also have relatively detailed instructions on what to do if you should happen upon those critters (or if they should happen upon you). The instructions are clearly written and quite informative. The signs are necessary and helpful and I have no doubt that the lives of both humans and animals have been saved because of them.

Roughcoat said...

Also: I'm from the North and I didn't know most of what's been written here about the danger of encountering alligators in bodies of water. I know about alligators but, until reading the comments here, I didn't know that there is a danger to walking along the water's edge of most lakes, rivers, ponds, etc. in the South. And I can tell you this: I would have assumed that a man-made lake in Disney World would have been safe and free of alligators, or that otherwise signs would have been posed warning me of the danger of alligators in their lake. Just like those signs I mentioned above in Colorado warning people of the dangers of encountering mountain lions and bears. I never assumed that visitors to Colorado knew what to do when they happened upon mountains and bears and I would have hoped that Disney World would assume that I don't know about alligators in their lakes.

Roughcoat said...

Kerani -

That video of the alligator climbing over the fence is amazing, thanks for posting it. I didn't know gators could do that. Amazing.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

You've got to admire the way markets can put a price on anything. Disney stock dropped 1.72% ($2.7 billion) on the alligator attack news but has made half that back. The family likely won't get $1 billion, so much of that is lost good will.

Speaking of markets, Pivit is trading Hillary Clinton at a 76% chance of becoming President while a PredictIt she is trading at 68%. Still, you wouldn't feel safe swimming in alligator-infested waters with a 24% to 32% chance of being eaten by a gator.

I'm waiting for the Althouse post on whether the alligator attack will benefit Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the election. Will it hurt Trump if there are no alligator warning signs at his Florida resort lagoons? Yes, he can shoot a man on Fifth Avenue, but can he put two-year olds at risk?

buwaya said...

I am feeling quite uncomfortable with all these implied threats to my kind.
I know I am a crocodile and not an alligator, but still, I am feeling triggered.
I have gone into my safe space.

Sean E said...

Roughcoat, that's exactly what I was thinking. It sounds like bear attacks where I live are significantly less common than alligator attacks in Florida, but it would still be difficult to find a regional, provincial or national park in the area without signs and other cautions, along with detailed information on what to do (or more often not do).

It seems to me that either commenters here and elsewhere are greatly overstating the risk of 'gators in Florida (everyone knows they're a problem, don't let kids near the water), or someone dropped the ball in a big way.

Personally, I've been to Florida and while I knew there were alligators in the state, it never would have occurred to me that any kid near open water was at risk - any more than it would likely occur to visitors here to watch our for deer and moose on the highways at night. Don't they herd swarms of kids near the water every day to board the ferries (can't recall exactly how close to the water you get...)?

pm317 said...

You'll seen this, right?

readering said...

Used to think Jurassic Park far-fetched. But apparently it was just penned by someone who had visited Disney World.

Hagar said...

Someone has also dumped African crocodiles in Florida waters, and they are propagating ....

Bob Ellison said...

In Washington, DC, there are warning signs everywhere. "DO NOT FEED THE WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ!" "SCHUMER IS DANGEROUS AND LIKES TO EAT CHILDREN!" Tourists ignore them, and thousands die every year.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Left Bank of the Charles said...I'm waiting for the Althouse post on whether the alligator attack will benefit Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in the election.

It's a horrific story and it's hard to imagine the family's pain.

If you want to make it political, in an us vs. them way, though, I think you'd have to look at Disney as a corporation & Media power. Do Media properties Disney owns lean heavily to the Left? Of course they do. So harming Disney harms the Media and harms the Left.
The counterpoint to that is that horrific news stories like these drive view/clicks, and that puts money in the Media's pocket--money the Media uses to help the Left & Dems. So, I dunno.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Nature doesn't fuck around--that's about the only lesson I can see here.

Daisy Cakes said...

I told my kids that they couldn't go in the water at Disney because of alligators. My husband told me that I was just scaring the children. Sometimes I hate it when I'm right.

Dave said...

I live in an Orlando suburb. And in the local park near my house--a park only a Florida resident would be attending--the sign by the creek reads, "CAUTION ALLIGATORS, NO SWIMMING." And below the text there is an ominous cartoon of an alligator lurking in water. Not sure why Disney didn't have this sort of sign. I will try to email Ann a picture of the sign in case she feels like posting it.

jimbino said...

Since it's the dumbest and least educated Amerikans who have children, how is it that we imagine that children are protected? And why do we childfree Amerikans pay for the stupidity of the breeders? The only solution is to imprison Amerikan breeders who have neither the intelligence, nor education, nor experience nor funds to breed and rear a child?

Michael Edward McNeil said...

Even in the North, severe danger is only as far away as stepping off a curb — or a ledge.

As far as mountain lions (panthers) are concerned, they are widespread across America, especially out West. In my own state of California there are tens of thousands of these great cats — any of whom could easily kill an adult human being — wandering and foraging near most California suburbs — where millions of people live. Fortunately, for us and them, some aspect of mountain lion psychology ensures that they almost never attack people, or even human children. (The number of Californians attacked by panthers over the last century and a quarter is less than two dozen. One might note that your pets are not similarly sacrosanct however.) Pray that they don't lose that fear (if that's what it is) of people!

Alligators, by the way — even though they live in the water — are not “amphibians,” they're reptiles.

AlbertAnonymous said...

It is always someone else's fault.

Let's just blame the Christians. Seems to be the fashionable thing to do.

Gabriel said...

Oh good Lord. The UNIVERSE does not put up warning signs. I am appalled at the number of people saying that if they see no sign they assume no danger in places like national parks which are, by definition, places intended to be mostly wild.

There are any number of humans, as well as animals, that could kill you suddenly at Disney World. The Orlando shooter comes to mind.

The universe does not care if you are on vacation. You are never safe. Especially not when surround by wolves on two legs.

Diamondhead said...

The problem is that people can't accept that a tragic accident can occur without 1) parental negligence or 2) corporate/administrative etc negligence. Something terrible happened and the parents are going to torture themselves over it for the rest of their lives without the added help of smug internet monday morning quarterbacks.

Robert Cook said...

As someone who was not born in Florida, but was raised there from the age of eight, I am aware that alligators can appear anywhere in or near bodies of water throughout the state. I wouldn't expect non-Floridians to know this, and neither would I, as a Floridian, expect to see alligators in a man-made(?) lake on the carefully maintained property of a commercial hotel in Disneyworld.

But then, neither would I allow a two year old to wade into a lake or pool or stream or other body of water without my hand in the child's hand.

Unknown said...

I want warning signs at Target, "Warning, pedophiles and perverts may be using the public facilities." In fact, I think every building that allows self-identified gender to guide bathroom usage ought to have a sign out front, "Obama Rules Here."

bagoh20 said...

A gator proof fence simply has an angle at the top, and is built of vertical members with very few horizontal stingers just like all fences designed specifically to prevent scaling by climbers. No it wouldn't be chain link, which even a dog can climb over. If Disney needs it, I'll build it, and guarantee it. It won't be cheap, but it will cost a fraction of what this death will cost them. Call me, Mickey.

rcocean said...

I agree. I hope Disney gets it ass sued off. Who expects a Disney resort to have dangerous alligators?

People have a right, sans adequate warning, to expect they're safe when they're at a resort. If i played golf at a florida course I'd expect to be able to go into the water hazard and hit my ball out (if playable) without getting attacked by a gator or deadly snake.

rcocean said...

"Not sure why Disney didn't have this sort of sign."

Well, it kind of spoils the fun of being on the lakeshore doesn't it?

Disney obviously knew people with little kids were wading in the lake and took no action. Nor did they - we assume - try to keep the gators out.

rcocean said...

As to a successful suit against Disney, no, not a chance. Disney might settle to shut it up and be nice.

Nonsense. Disney will settle because they'll lose big-time in Court and look bad.
The people who run Disney are the biggest greedheads in the world. They're aren't "Nice" about money.

Fred Rawlings said...

I grew up in sight of Cypress Gardens in florida, and my parents moved on to a lake when i was 15.
Back then, gators were a lot rarer, and they were definitely afraid of humans. When people fed them and they became aggressive, (usually eating dogs), a local redneck would kill it. It would be left under water, a concrete block tied to it, missing its delicious tail.
Loss of habitat, interaction with humans, more gators, more problems. Guess what folks, they are not only in the lakes, gators are even in the drainage ditches under the Orlando International airport monorail trains from the tarmac to the terminal.
The beach at the grand floridian looks pristine and safe. Disney screwed up. Gators are not afraid of people now. They didn't put up signage or a barrier.
Disney also got in trouble a while back slaughtering Buzzards that didnt fit the Disney image, and you have to show cause to kill a gator these days, so they couldnt just send out people to clear them out, even in a private lake.
Terrible outcome.

Quaestor said...

This family should own DisneyWorld as soon as a good trial lawyer can finish his work.

Very unlikely. Disney has had numerous cases of death and injury in the their parks. Not one has resulted in an outsized settlement. The law in Florida does not make a property owner liable for the actions of wildlife unless gross negligence can be proven. For example, numerous lawsuits brought by tenants against landlords have alleged liability regarding snakebites, spider bites, and alligator incidents. The few that have gone to trial have not resulted in extreme judgements of the kind tradition guy is suggesting.

I recall one such case in Ft. Lauderdale. As you may know Broward County is the mouth of the Everglades. If it weren't for dozens of canals the whole place would be under a foot of water. Properties that border the canals are sought after by boaters and sportsman because of the access the canals grant to major waterways. In 1996 a woman brought a suit against the prior owner of her canal-fronted property and the real estate agency because a gator killed two of her cats, causing her dire mental and emotional distress. She said she was not sufficiently warned about the danger of alligators inhabiting the canal. The case was dismissed.

Alligators are protected by Federal and State Law in Florida. Even if one comes on your property and eats your dog you must not take action yourself against the archosaurian snack-seeker. If you do so you risk fines and possibly jail. Even feeding gators or swimming with them (assuming you're stupid enough) can be consider harassment of a protected species. By protecting alligators and criminalizing what many would see as reasonable protective measures the State has relived property owners of much practical liability.

Quaestor said...

A gator proof fence...

Broward County has tried for decades to gator-proof the storm drain system. Lots of smart people have submitted brilliant designs of which some have been installed with guarantees and warranties aplenty... And yet hardly a month goes by that there isn't an incident related to an alligator using the storm drains as a subway.

Gators are determined, persistent, and sufficiently intelligent to overcome most obstacles designed specifically to exclude them.

Big Mike said...

Is there a point where the eco-loonies grasp that alligators are no longer in any need of protection?

Didn't think so.

bagoh20 said...

"Gators are determined, persistent, and sufficiently intelligent to overcome most obstacles designed specifically to exclude them."

Ahhh, but that's the trick. I would put a sign on my fence that said "Not a gator fence". They would assume nothing in there worth their time.

I suggest the same thing for the Mexican border fence. If you want it to work, it needs a sign that says: "No free stuff past this point", and mean it, of course.

Unknown said...

I'm surprised how little thought has gone into the comments. Per the Orlando papers the last attack at the resort was in 1986. Also, I've been to that resort, it would be impossible to miss the many signs telling you to avoid the alligators. I don't know how many people walk along that lagoon every year but my guess would be at least half a million. To say that Disney created a dangerous condition seems to me to be emotional rather than logical. If we want to be near wildlife one must expect actual wildness. While my heart goes out to the poor family, it's hard for me to see why everyone is jumping on Disney since it seems like the place is really quite safe by any statistical measure.

Michael K said...

"it's hard for me to see why everyone is jumping on Disney since it seems like the place is really quite safe by any statistical measure."

In 1986, in one year, I treat two children who were attacked by mountain lions in a local park that had no history of such attacks. Children under 18 have been barred from the park since.

Children are more vulnerable and the park attracts children. There are alligators in every water hole in south Florida.

Michael K said...

"By protecting alligators and criminalizing what many would see as reasonable protective measures the State has relived property owners of much practical liability."

Excellent point, I do know that people at a cocktail party across the road from friends of mine in Naples, FL used to feed alligators in the lagoon below the deck.

mikee said...

The Costanza Defense does not work against Nature, red in tooth and claw.

John said...

I know there are alligators in Florida. I was once working in a plant in Fort Lauderdale. It was alongside a canal and as I was leaving one afternoon, the receptionist told me to be careful. A few weeks before an alligator had gotten under someone's car. It did not attack the car owner and they did not even realize it was there until they backed out.

Still, it freaked the shit out of me. I checked very very carefully, from a good long distance, to make sure my car was clear underneath.

But if I went to Disney World or resorts, I would assume that that any lakes ponds etc would be free of alligators unless clearly posted otherwise.

I think the parents from Nebraska have a right to be pissed that there was nothing warning them about the alligators and other wildlife.

I was in Yellowstone the day before the guy wondered off the boardwalk and got cooked in the Norris Geyser. I don't remember seeing many rangers but there were plenty of signs all over warning about leaving the boardwalk. They were pretty gruesome. If you left the boardwalk you would fall through. If the sulphuric acid didn't get you, the boiling water would. Essentially, if you left the boardwalk you would die. In about 8 languages.

And the idiot ignored them. Some would probably ignore signs about alligators. Still, the signs would probably save a lot of lives.

John Henry

John said...

Speaking of alligators, Cypress Gardens and the like, let me recommend Elmore Leonard's book "Maximum Bob" available via Ann's Amazon link.

All of Leonard's books are good to great. This is a bit better than most.

John Henry

CWJ said...

Sorry unknown @ 6:08,

Not buying what you're selling. Is your 1986 claim accurate? I don't know. It seems at odds with Quaestor's 3:29 comment above. As to many signs? Again, I don't know. But it seems odd that you're the only one claiming there were many signs. As for getting to be near wildlife? Outside of the Animal Kingdom section, that is definately NOT what Disney World is selling. All the above comments about the real world, panthers in California, bears in Colorado, and even alligaters in Florida outside the resort are 100% irrelevant. None of them promise safety. Disney explicitly sells clean and SAFE family entertainment. It is their brand. They blur fantasy and reality on purpose and make it work with the promise that it is all safe. Elsewhere in the park they even have animatronic alligators for crying out loud for the express purpose of being scary, but safe!

This was Disney owned lodging on the grounds of a Disney Resort 100% under control of Disney. Unlike the national parks, the hills outside LA, or a random Florida canal outside the resort, Disney guests have every expectation and have been promised a family safe experience. Again, it's their brand. Disney is toast on this one.

Captain Curt said...

An SJW blames the death on the father's "white privilege"!

http://heatst.com/culture-wars/sjw-blames-disney-toddler-alligator-attack-on-white-privilege/

Lauderdale Vet said...

Just weeks before there was an alligator incident at the Poly, though no one was hurt. Some tourists were "chased", however. They *knew* this was a problem. Wild gators generally run AWAY from people. This one was getting bold. He was probably fed by well-meaning tourists at some point.

After the child at the Grand Floridian was drowned, they captured and euthanized 5 gators.

It would have been more prudent of them to have put forth that effort beforehand.

I recommend that they continually invest in that. Sensors, cameras, wildlife personnel. Euthanization.

Hell. Gator nuggets are tasty.

Kela E said...

Why is that No ones pissed about them killing the 4 gators. The killed one gorilla to save a kid and the world went crazy!

If I saw a sign that said no swimming, my initial thought would be why does it say that, my second thought would be better not go in the water.

If I saw a sign that said no swimming gators, my initial thought would be no gators here, there's no way they would have this place open, my second thought would be better not go in the water.

Hmmmmmmm

Martin said...

About 20 or so years ago alligators became a protected species. This is the inevitable and predictable consequence. There are quite a few communities in Florida where people know not to let pets or kid out of their easy reach, because of known alligator threats.

If the sign at Disney said only "No swimming," Disney is gonna wind up paying a bundle, because that is just outright negligence.

Zach said...

A beach bordering alligator infested water sounds like a law school exam question. Is it an attractive nuisance? Is "No Swimming" adequate notification of the dangers? (It doesn't say no wading, or no sand castles.) Is being attacked by a water dwelling creature an intrinsic hazard of playing on the water's edge in Florida?