Update 12:00 PM 6/15/2016
Last night around 9:21 PM a 911 call was received by the Orange County Sheriff's office reporting the abduction of a 2 year old toddler from the beach near Disney's Grand Floridian Resort by a 4-7 foot alligator. Personnel from Disney, Reedy Creek, Orange County Sheriff's office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission responded. Search has continued through the night.
As it has been 15 hours since the alligator took the boy and officials have switched from search and rescue to recovery mode. They believe that too much time has passed and there is no way the toddler could have survived for this long.
Two witnesses report seeing the alligator take the child off the beach along Seven Seas lagoon. The toddler was playing approximately 1 foot from the shoreline in the water. Signs are posted in the area stating no swimming. The parents were near the child at the time of the abduction, but were not able to wrestle the child away from the alligator's mouth.
There has not been an incident with an alligator on Disney property for over 45 years. Disney has an aggressive wildlife management program which closely monitors all wildlife in the area and will quickly remove any alligators which become a problem. They monitor the waters daily.
Personnel will continue to search until a body is found.
Disney has closed all resort beaches until further notice.
The next update will come at 6:00 PM or earlier if a development occurs.
Eric Wichhart ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
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