UNITED STATES—It was the story last week that literally ripped my heart out of my chest. Hearing about 2 year-old Lane Graves being snatched by an alligator while walking near the water reservoir at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Hotel in Orlando, Florida shook Americans. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and to make the matter worse, is knowing that both his father and mother desperately fought to unhinge their son from the mouth of that alligator.
As a parent, I can’t even imagine the level of horror, grief, rage, anger, sadness, these two must be experiencing. They had to WATCH their son be dragged into the water by a wild animal and there was nothing they could do to rescue the child. As Americans waited for word on what transpired, the following day news surfaced that the body of the child was discovered several yards from where he was snatched by the alligator while holding onto his father’s hand. Authorities reported that the child’s body was intact, but he did suffer injuries to the body, but likely died from drowning.
I’m still upset, because this is a helpless child; unable to fight back against a creature of this magnitude, so the question to ask is why wasn’t more done by the resort to warn patrons of the dangers of being too close by the water? A no swimming sign, really? That can mean a bevy of things. One could suspect the fact that the water is contaminated, or too deep; that gives no indication that alligators or snakes could be in the midst of the area (more on this later).
The resort and the region of Disney World has gotten so much flack about this incident in the public sphere, and the media and rightfully so if you ask me. I mean why in the hell did they think it was not critical to post signs warning of alligators and other dangerous animals near the water? I’ll tell you why, they were scared that posting such signs would scare patrons away and impact business. Well, congrats you’ve already done that.
Who in their right mind would ever want to stay at this resort or any resort of that matter, where the presence of alligators can be in such close proximity to families, especially kids. Kids are precocious, they don’t always know the dangers, and the fact that this resort, and perhaps a few others in the area failed to properly alert its patrons of the dangers lurking near the water is just a travesty.
What I find so disturbing is the fact that after this media backlash, the resort has now placed signs on the property warning of alligators and even snakes near the water and the region. They even put up what looks like a rope fence around that reservoir to prevent people from getting too close to the water. Hmm, why not just build up a wall, because from the pictures I saw, it still looks like the alligators can still reach up to the land if they want, let’s prevent it completely, by putting a wall where no entry from the creatures are possible.
I hate to say this I don’t feel sorry one single bit for this resort if they lose tons of business or money in light of this incident. They should have considered the safety and wellbeing of their patrons over bringing in profits. How can you think it would not be wise to put signs up warning people about alligators near the water, when you are well aware that alligators have been in the water, and very close proximity to the land where patrons walk by this water, making it worse, kids playing in and near the water.
My family is considering a trip to Orlando, Florida, and this recent incident has us totally questioning if this is a good idea. We’re always vigilant, but this tragic incident will have us being even more vigilant and aware of wildlife and the dangers of the waters near these resorts and the region as a whole. I sincerely want to send my condolences to the Graves family, I can’t imagine and will not even attempt to comprehend what you are going through at this horrible time, but just know that you are indeed in my prayers and I’m hoping no further incidents like this EVER happens again to any family.