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Police Are Still Searching for the Gator That Grabbed a Toddler Near Disney World

"The sad reality of it is it's been several hours, and we're not likely going to recover a live body," Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said in a press conference.

by VICE Staff
Jun 15 2016, 1:56pm

Photo via Flickr user heymeadow

On Tuesday, a two-year-old boy was attacked by an alligator at the Disney Grand Floridian Hotel near Orlando, Florida, where his family was vacationing, CNN reports.

According to Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, the boy and his father were wading on the edge of the resort's onsite lagoon in barely a foot of water when an alligator approached and lunged for the toddler. The boy's father tried to wrestle the child free from the animal's jaws, but the alligator managed to drag the boy back into the shallow water.

Authorities arrived shortly after the attack and launched an initial overnight search for the boy using boats, trappers, and helicopters, but have yet to locate a body. Investigators have since euthanized at least four alligators in the lagoon that they believed could have attacked the boy, but determined none were responsible, the Miami Herald reports.

"The sad reality of it is it's been several hours, and we're not likely going to recover a live body," Demings said in a press conference.

The hotel's lagoon was not a safe spot for swimming, as noted by the many "No Swimming" signs that dotted the shore. While authorities say that particular area hasn't had a prior problem with alligators, Florida has been accumulating a ton of strange sightings, close encounters, and attacks from gators lately. According to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, the state saw nine attacks and one death in 2015.

UPDATE 6/15/16: CNN reports that a source close to the investigation says that the boy's body has been recovered.