June 15, 2016

"We determined that this child was playing at the edge of the water, probably about a foot or so into the water, when this alligator came up and attacked the child."

"The father did his best, tried to rescue the child, however to no avail. A struggle did ensue and the father has some sort of minor lacerations to his arm, so he was able to get over there fairly quickly. You know how a father who witnesses this must have felt. It is tragic, it is heartbreaking, there’s no other way to say it. We’re just going to keep searching and searching and searching."

At Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

62 comments:

rhhardin said...

Uh oh. Narrative displacement.

Curious George said...

"Williamson said there were no signs alerting guests to the possibility of the presence of alligators. “The sign says no swimming. There’s no other sign,” he said."

Cost of "Beware of Alligator" Signs - $500

Cost of no "Beware of Alligator" Signs - $5 million

BDNYC said...

At least it wasn't a gorilla. That would cause quite the moral quandary.

David Begley said...

Family is from Nebraska. Very, very sad.

Brando said...

That state is riddled with alligators. Most are too small to want to eat a full grown human, but keep dogs and children (and midgets) far from any natural body of water.

Michael K said...

You don't even go to the edge of a water hole to look for your golf ball there.

Bob Boyd said...

A nightmare you'll never wake up from.

campy said...

More Trump violence.

EDH said...

Jaws 2016: Chief Brody moves from Amity to Florida. Gets slapped again.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

In this part of the world (on the Gulf) it's just best to stay out of the water, even though people love it. If it's not alligators, it's venomous snakes. I live in south Texas and there is an ornamental lake behind my house and we have a pool in the backyard; last week our pool maintenance guy found a water moccasin that had slid inside one of the kids' pool toys. I didn't think they would come out of the lake and near the chlorinated water but was I ever wrong.

And they pulled a 14 foot alligator out of a local reservoir that is extremely popular for boating, fishing and swimming.

That poor family. My daughter was just at Disney World with her high school marching band last week.

Virgil Hilts said...

If I was 2 and could read and saw a beware of alligator sign, I am pretty sure I would want to try and see the alligator. Posting an appropriate warning sign that works is not always that easy.

The Drill SGT said...

Wiley said the attack was unusual. “It’s not common at all, in fact it’s very rare for people to be attacked by alligators, in Florida or anywhere you find alligators,” he said.

The obvious is that 2 year olds don't look like people to a gator. They look like lunch.

Michael McClain said...

The absolute horror is impossible to imagine.

surfed said...

After decades of personal aquaintance with many gators I'm here to categorically state that under NO circumstances should any child be allowed at at the edge of any inland water in Florida unless it's a gin clear spring (Itchetucknee, Ginnie, et al). No adult should ever swim in inland water in Florida unless it's under the same conditions. Numerous times in the past I have literally run to the waters edge of lakes, streams or a river to snatch my daughter away. Small children are tasty treats for gators.
But everyone knows this. No?

Addendum: Steve, John and I deserved the spanking we recieved from Mrs King (back when neighboring adults had that right) for putting baby alligators we captured in her pool. And the second spanking my momma gave me when the phone call from Mrs King came 20 minutes later.

Further addendum: The gator population in Florida is out of control. They should be shot or trapped out on site. They are not our friends.

DrMaturin said...

My parents had a condo on one of the many canals. We'd frequently see gator sunning themselves near the front door. We'd have to be extremely careful and vigilant when we took the kids to visit them.

holdfast said...

Query: Is there a handgun round that would stop a gator of that size? Would a .45 do it or is this more a .44 Mag or .500 S&W sort of thing?

Curious George said...

"David Begley said...
Family is from Nebraska. Very, very sad."

Nebraska isn't that bad. It's better than Oklahoma.

Curious George said...

"Virgil Hilts said...
If I was 2 and could read and saw a beware of alligator sign, I am pretty sure I would want to try and see the alligator. Posting an appropriate warning sign that works is not always that easy."

dude, two year olds can't read, and are never to be left by water unattended.

gspencer said...

This species, said to be endangered, is so un-endangered that no sane-thinking person would ever enter any body of water in FL (and in other areas in the Southeast).

Maybe a swimming pool is okay, so long as you can see to the bottom.

David Begley said...

I should clarify. I live in Nebraska. A family from Nebraska would not know about the magnitude of the alligator danger in FL. A foreign concept.

Reading some of the comments above, I had no idea gators were such a problem.

There is something similar going on in NE. Deer are rampant. Many collisions between cars and deer, but few (if any) deaths.

Humans need to take control and subjugate lesser animals to our primacy. Cull the deer and gator populations.

The Drill SGT said...

There is something similar going on in NE. Deer are rampant. Many collisions between cars and deer, but few (if any) deaths.

My German teacher in HS was a Swede by birth. He said deer won't kill you, but Moose will. Deer bounce off the grill. Moose are too tall and a lot bigger. They come through the windshield...

David said...

There is a large gator population in coastal South Carolina where I live. They are very common in populated areas with ponds and lakes. People here know not to approach the edge of water except with extreme vigilance and care. Children should never be near the edge of ponds and lakes. "Near" means much more than a few feet. Gator attacks away from water's edge are rare but they do occur. At water's edge a gator can take a child (or an adult if the gator is large enough) in a split second.

People from Nebraska can not be expected to know this. Disney does know. Warnings should have been posted all along that very inviting beach. The father was a brave man but it was a losing battle from the start.

The statement about rarity of gator attacks is absurd. Gators will usually keep away from adult humans. Usually but not always. Small children are just another meal to them.

Wilbur said...

Don't forget the crocs. We're blessed to have both species here (South Florida).

And the Burmese pythons are a real blessing, too.

David Begley said...

Animals running amuck is more of the Green agenda. No different than the crazy CAGW scam. At least with the CAGW scam we only lose money and not lives.

Another crazy thing going on in FL. Green nuts in Key West trying to derail a test of GMO mosquitos that stop Zika. Something about bio-diversity. All of this in light of over 1,000 Zika babies in Brazil.

Baronger said...

Ok everyone, flee Olando. I hear the Bronx, is ready to take everyone back.

Also remember that "everyone knows that alligators are a reptile of peace". Unless your a toddler or a drunken fool who goes for a swim in alligator infested waters.

Also would a beware of alligator sign actually increase liability, like a wet floor sign. If they had one up then, wouldn't it be a case of, they obviously knew about the gators but didn't do anything.

At least this was the sheriff's department. After 2 shooting news conferences in a row that political cel chief needs a break.

mockturtle said...

It's Trump's inflammatory rhetoric causing animals to get feisty.

Thorley Winston said...

dude, two year olds can't read, and are never to be left by water unattended.

I think he meant that if there had been warning signs about alligators, it would have alerted the parents that they needed to keep an even closer eye on their children than they would back home. When I was that age, my parents probably would have kept us off the beach for the entirety of the trip if they saw a sign like that.





Michael K said...

"Deer bounce off the grill. Moose are too tall and a lot bigger. They come through the windshield..."

Pheasants come through the windshield too. I was lucky one morning in South Dakota in 1959. It was 5 AM and I was driving 100 mph.

He hit just at the top of the windshield in front of me. He went over.

traditionalguy said...

Disposing of dead bodies from contract killings necessary for the Mafia and Senaloa Cartel guys to do business is quick and easy down in Gator land.

Obama could also import another 100,000 alligators and set them loose before he leaves office like he does the Muslim Refugees.

roadgeek said...

I'm from Southeast Texas, and a fellow decided to jump off a dock into a bayou at 2 AM (judgment juice was indeed involved). He lasted not quite two minutes. There were signs. The alligator was known to the locals. Texas Parks and Wildlife said they'd take care of it, but his friends dropped the carcass of the gator at the feet of the TPW officer who finally arrived on scene; no tickets were written. Parts of Bubba were still in the gator.

It's just gators doing what they're gonna do. Regrettable the kid died, but the kid was in the gators environment. Man is NOT the king of certain parts of the jungle.

coupe said...

I had a flashback to Quint getting eaten by the Shark. It was the first bite that was the worst part of the scene.

"I'll never put on a life-jacket again"

coupe said...

David Begley said...There is something similar going on in NE. Deer are rampant.

The tree-huggers have taken over wildlife management. In NJ the deer population is out of control.

There's a farmer on youtube that no longer plants corn or soybeans until the state allows hunters to thin the herd. He has resorted to growing hay for the mushroom industry.

The sad thing is, the poachers will come in and also steal his corn in order to bait the deer somewhere where they can shoot them and get away fast.

The tree-huggers seem to be winning, and with no corn, there will be no steak and ham. The beef industry is bankrupt in NJ. Actually farming is bankrupt, except for the Dutch immigrants.

Then too the state has been releasing farm turkeys that are killing all the wild turkeys from the diseases they carry. The farm turkeys are immune to the diseases, but they spread it to the wild. The difference being that farm turkeys are stupid and jump into the coyotes mouths.

damikesc said...

"Williamson said there were no signs alerting guests to the possibility of the presence of alligators. “The sign says no swimming. There’s no other sign,” he said."

My father lives just outside of Orlando. You see gators all over the place near any lake or body of water, sunning themselves usually. You stop freaking out after a while...just don't go near them because they are faster than you'd think.

To not notice "There might be gators" requires you to walk around with your eyes closed as tightly as possible.

But I cannot fathom what they are going thru.

As other have said --- don't go near natural bodies of water. Gators aren't rare.

David Begley said...

OWH reporter:

"This was a Nebraska family enjoying a family vacation that went tragic in a place they were unfamiliar with. Yes, we all know Florida is full of alligators. But this was a man-made lagoon on a Walt Disney World resort – perhaps they thought that made it safer.

I can picture myself walking along a lake here in Nebraska with my son. We do it all the time in the summer. I don't worry about predators getting us – as we don't have that here. If I was at a Walt Disney World resort intended for families walking near water that didn't have dangerous signs posted, I don't think I would worry either. Does that make me a bad mother? No. I care more for my son than I do anything else in this world. I would give my life protecting him.

I can’t tell you what these parents were thinking, but I can tell you I don’t want to be in their shoes.

So instead of judging them when I read the story, my heart broke. My thoughts never went to “why would they let their baby near the water?” or “I bet they weren’t even paying attention!” I don’t know that. I wasn’t there. Instead, I know they probably wish they had never gone to Florida and were at home, safe in Nebraska with their son and their other child.

I’m sure they wish they could turn back the hands of time – I know I would.

So how about we stop judging? How about we stop using harsh words towards people we don’t know personally? People who are going through an absolutely awful nightmare that no one would wish upon their worst enemy.

Let’s be “Nebraska Nice” and comfort this family during their time of need. We need to come together as a community, open our arms and wrap them in love.

To the family: Please know you're not alone. All of Nebraska is hurting for you."

The Godfather said...

Alligator skins make good shoes, wallets, and purses. An open season on them would be win-win.

rehajm said...

Having visited the Disney Hotels and the GF Hotel on occasion I was always struck how the older resort pools were placed within and amongst the outbuildings while the newer pools including this one where the accident occurred were oriented near and towards the lagoon. Lounge chairs and sand beaches even. It's unreasonable to expect gator prudence from tourists unaccustomed to living with them.

Deb said...

An alligator was recently caught in the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta. Apparently he'd been living there for about ten years.

Deb said...

I have already read some nasty comments about the parents not watching their children. People just have to blame somebody or something.

"I can’t tell you what these parents were thinking, but I can tell you I don’t want to be in their shoes." - Neither would I, David Begley.

R. Chatt said...

Are they going to post signs every 15 feet around every body of water in Florida? How is that possible? I don't live in Fl but I've visited. I even took a boat tour and saw alligators. I was told alligators aren't usually aggressive. They try to avoid people, so you don't want to surprise them. Creeped me out.

Where I live people come to see the ocean when there are big storms. Despite the warning signs and railings, every year an individual or family will climb over the railings to get a better look at the dramatic crashing waves, and they get knocked down and drowned. Tragic.

David Begley said...

Deb:

I cut and pasted a story by an OWH reporter. She put it well.

eddie willers said...

Disney should ignore any treehuggers and henceforth slaughter any and all alligators they find in their park.

Zero tolerance, you might say.

Anthony said...

The media is speculating that the alligator is a white, conservative, Republican Christian with an AR-15.

LCB said...

Blogger The Drill SGT said...
My German teacher in HS was a Swede by birth. He said deer won't kill you, but Moose will. Deer bounce off the grill. Moose are too tall and a lot bigger. They come through the windshield...

Umm...no. Deer will often bounce off of the grill and also come through the window. 20+ years ago in SW Ohio a woman was decapitated by a deer through the wind. Don't know if it was the deer or the windshield...but it doesn't really mater, does it?

They (the State) teach drivers NOT to break when a deer collision seems imminent because it causes the front end of the vehicle to dip, making a deer through the windshield more likely. But its very hard to fight against that impulse when something large shows up in front of the car, especially at night.


David Begley said...

LCB

Your comment reminds me of last Fall when four or five Creighton students died when the driver did not hit the deer straight on. I think she went into a ditch. Guy saw it and tried to save them but injuries were too severe.

Ann Althouse said...

It was Disney World!

(Where, we're told, Omar Mateen considered staging his massacre.)

JAORE said...

Rode my motorcycle to Maine a few years ago. An old, scruffy looking biker (likely he thought the same of me) approached me at a gas pump and warned me about moose. He said, "They are like cows, their eyes don't reflect headlights. So if you are riding at night and you see nothing, it's a moose".

Uhhh..... thanks.... I think.

For those of us on two wheels, deer are plenty lethal, thank you very much.

Quaestor said...

Alligators are no longer endangered, and yet the inertia of government fatally contributed to this child's horrible death.

Quaestor said...

Is there a handgun round that would stop a gator of that size? Would a .45 do it or is this more a .44 Mag or .500 S&W sort of thing?

.45 ACP? No.
.45 LC? Possibly.
.44 mag? Ditto.

However, the problem isn't muzzle energy, it's shot placement. Alligators have small brains inside thick skulls. And in a typical situation the beast is mostly if not entirely submerged, which slows even the swiftest bullet to a crawl. Nothing one can fire from a pistol, with the possible exception of a .460 magnum is likely to kill a bull gator outright or even deter one on the attack. Quaestor advises a 12 gauge with a 3 1/2" chamber loaded with "Zombie Commander" magnums. Better for you. Better for the gator.

The Drill SGT said...

Michael K

Instant Pheasant Mousse

The Drill SGT said...

Quaestor said...
Nothing one can fire from a pistol, etc, etc.


if fired from the outside in.

However, if you fired between his eyes through open jaws :)

ObeliskToucher said...

It's Disney, ferchristssake... add two or three robotic alligators a hundred yards offshore from each beach, with reflective eyes that glow at night. Add occasional tail-splashing and bull grunts to catch people's attention. Problem solved...

Quaestor said...

However, if you fired between his eyes through open jaws :)

Sounds much too dangerous to Quaestor. If one insists on a handgun the best policy is to leap into the water and grapple with the archosaurian Tarzan-style. Then when the opportunity arises shoot 'em through the earhole with your trusty Gubbamint Model Forty-Five at contact range. One dead gator, guaranteed.

The Phantom used this technique routinely, and never even smudged his purple tights.

tomfromchicago said...

If you live in Nebraska, you are not likely to know that every fresh water lake or pond in Florida contains alligators.

Bob said...

Ann Althouse said: It was Disney World!

Shouldn't the gator have made a ticking sound, then, like in Peter Pan?

"Smeeeeee!"

California Snow said...

As a father of a little girl who will be turning two in two weeks, I can't tell you how this breaks my heart. I probably wouldn't have worried too much about the child if I didn't know there were gators around. I hate being too overprotective of my children because I don't want them to scared and this was the lagoon next to the hotel. I probably would have assumed Disney would have some sort of plan in place to keep gators away like airports keep birds away.

EDH said...

Could Disney be held strictly liable for "owning" a dangerous animal?

To hold an owner liable for injury by an exotic or wild animal, the injured person will have to show that the exotic or wild animal was under the person’s control or that the person introduced the animal to the area.

David Begley said...

Family identified. They live about 30 miles from me in a northwest suburb of Omaha.

Quaestor said...

I probably would have assumed Disney would have some sort of plan in place to keep gators away like airports keep birds away.

When I was a Floridian alligators were protected. You could complain about a gator, and the State might come and remove it, but steps you might take yourself could be considered criminal.

paulmichiel said...

I can see how somehow from out-of-state might think a sign that says "no swimming" does not preclude wading. What could be the danger, they might think, of letting a kid wade into water a few inches deep, with the parent keeping a close watch? And why did Disney build a sandy beach if not to draw people to the water?

I haven't been to Disney World in many years, but I remember thinking the ponds looked very mucky and uninvitng for a swimmer. But still, maybe for a child. . . .

Paul Snively said...

The report makes clear that Dad was nearby. Just looking the other way for a moment. Heard a splash. Turned around. There was an alligator with his son in its mouth, which Dad immediately attacked, unsuccessfully, and has the lacerations to prove it.

Because having your two-year-old son silently whisked away without seeing it happen just isn't horrifying enough. No, this poor man had to see it, fight it, and lose.

That is a lifetime of nightmares I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy.

Paul said...

Here in East Texas we have lots of rivers. Overflowing and gators are defiantly there.

You never ever leave your hand in the water when in a boat going down those rivers.

Folks, Disneyland is... fake. Those shows where all the critters talk and dance just ain't the way it is. Sad so many people lose respective of how dangerous the world is. And it seems liberals are very prone to that kind of view.

The Digital Hairshirt said...

Have a look at the pictures one mother posted on Facebook of the beach where this occurred. Chilling.

https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.venditti.18/posts/10154371872047147?pnref=story