A two-year-old boy, vacationing with his parents from Nebraska, is missing after an alligator dragged him into the water at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World.
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said the boy’s father jumped into the water to save his son.
“The father actually went into the water to wrestle his son from the grips of the alligator,” Demings said, adding that the man “was not successful in doing so.”
Demings said that the toddler’s mother also tried to wrestle the boy away from the alligator.
Police say the incident occurred around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Search and recovery efforts for the toddler are underway, said Jeff Williamson with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at the Wednesday morning news conference, according to News 6.
Local reporter Mark Lehman reported that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said that “4 gators have been pulled from lake and euthanized. None believed to be the gator involved in #DisneyGatorAttack”:
FWC: 4 gators have been pulled from lake and euthanized. None believed to be the gator involved in #DisneyGatorAttack
— Mark Lehman (@MarkLehman6) June 15, 2016
Demings told reporters that witnesses describe the alligator as between 4 to 7 feet in length.
He said there are “no swimming” signs near the area where the child was grabbed, adding that his office has “not had any recent reports or complaints of nuisance gators in the area.”
“This is Florida and it’s not uncommon for alligators to be in bodies of water,” Demings said. “The sad reality of it is it’s been several hours and we’re not likely going to recover a live body.
“We’re not leaving until we recover the child,” he added.
Jacquee Wahler, vice president of Walt Disney World Resort, released a statement, saying, “Everyone here at the Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with the family. We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Chad Weber.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson.