In a stunning revelation, the father of the two-year-old boy killed by an alligator at Disney last month told rescue officials he was attacked by a SECOND gator as he tried to rescue his son.
Emails from the Reedy Creek Fire Department obtained by the Orlando Sentinel in a public records release show that Matt Graves said there were two alligators in the water that night.
Reedy Creek Fire Department Capt. Tom Wellons emailed supervisors about his interaction with Graves the morning after his son, Lane, was attacked by an alligator at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
The Sentinel reported:
Wellons said he was examining Matt Graves’ injuries early on the morning of June 15 and told him he needed stitches and antibiotics since he had lacerations from the gator’s teeth.
Wellons said Graves “refused to leave” the area, but he was finally able to persuade him and told him he could come back after getting medical treatment, an email shows.
“This incredibly sweet couple insisted on showing us pictures of their happy son. [The] mom kept referring to him as her ‘happy boy,’ ” Wellons wrote.
He said on the way to the hospital, Graves shared “the horror that he experienced” as his son was being pulled into the water and “how another gator attacked him as he fought for his son,” Wellons wrote in the email.
The newspaper noted that one other witness said “he saw a second gator attack the father” while he was fighting the alligator that had his son.
Lane’s body was later found intact about 15 yards from the shore, six feet underwater.
Five alligators were killed in the 16-hour search for the toddler and while the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has said they’re “confident” the alligator that killed the toddler was caught, some doubts remain.
Overall, Disney has had more than 240 “nuisance” alligators captured and killed over the past 10 years at its Florida theme park property, according to NBC News.
Since the attack, Disney has added fencing and signs at all beaches that warn guests: “Danger! Alligators and snakes in area. Stay away from the water. Do not feed the wildlife.”
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