Report: Alligator bit boy's head during Disney attack
ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS NEWS)- The father of a toddler killed by an alligator at Walt Disney World last June reached into the animal’s mouth in an attempt to free his son’s head from the reptile’s jaws.
A final report on the death released Monday by Florida’s wildlife agency says that the 7-foot alligator bit 2-year-old Lane Graves’ head as the boy bent down at the edge of a lagoon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report says the boy died from a crushing bite and drowning.
The report says Lane did nothing to provoke the alligator and that the death is classified as a predatory attack.
The report says the alligator may have had a diminished fear of people by being in an area with lots of humans.
Disney officials in Orlando said they constructed a stone wall near the lagoon where the boy was taken as part of a new security plan.
Disney also put up warning signs and ropes after Graves was dragged by an alligator into the lake on June 14. The boy’s body was found 16 hours later and an autopsy showed he died from drowning and traumatic injuries.
The family decided not to file a lawsuit against Disney.
In a statement, the parents described themselves as “broken” by the death of their 2-year-old son, Lane.
“We will forever struggle to comprehend why this happened to our sweet baby, Lane,” they said. “As each day passes, the pain gets worse, but we truly appreciate the outpouring of sympathy and warm sentiments we have received from around the world.”
Disney World president George Kalogridis said in a statement the company continues to provide support for the family.
Authorities say an alligator pulled Lane Graves into the water June 14. His father said a second alligator attacked him as he tried to save his son.
Lane’s body was recovered the next day, and an autopsy showed he died from drowning and traumatic injuries.
After Lane’s death, Disney World made changes to limit possible visitor contact with alligators on the property.