ORLANDO: State wildlife officials say the number of alligators removed from the Walt Disney World property in Orlando, Florida has rocketed in the months following the killing of Nebraska toddler by a gator that pulled him into the water.
According to reports, the alligators were removed as part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife agency’s alligator nuisance program, which eliminated gators longer than 4-feet (1 meter).
“In keeping with our strong commitment to safety, we continue to reinforce procedures related to reporting sightings and interactions with wildlife, and work closely with Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission to remove or relocate certain wildlife from our property in accordance with state regulations,” Disney spokeswoman, Katie Purcell, said in a statement.
Alligators are a source of threat in a state where almost 1.3 million gators exist. Though human attacks have been rare, this incident has caused great concern and efforts are being made to combat this.
In June 2016, an alligator grabbed 2-year-old Lane Graves of Omaha, Nebraska, as he played on a beach outside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. His remains were found after an intense 18-hour search. The boy’s parents, Melissa and Matt Graves did not sue the popular resort and instead launched the Lane Thomas Foundation, which works to find organ donors. A year after the death, Disney erected a lighthouse statue in the child’s honour, drawing on the foundation’s mission to turn its namesake into a “beacon of hope.”