Gator Sightings Common Among Disney Visitors: 'It's a Tragedy That Should Not Have Happened'
The Grand Floridian is Disney World's flagship resort and has had its fair share of alligator encounters prior to the death of 2-year-old Lane Graves.
In video was shot just two weeks ago by a Disney guest near the Polynesian Hotel children were heard screaming, "a gator! A gator!"
An alligator was spotted floating in the lagoon.
Another guest posted a video on Instagram with the caption: "Nobody believed me when I said gators were @ our resort 3 weeks ago in Disney. Until I got proof."
The video shows an alligator swimming above water in the lagoon.
Just last year attorney David Hiden was staying at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort when he and his 5-year-old son encountered an alligator.
"This could have been preventable, it's a tragedy that should not have happened," he said. "I'm absolutely outraged and I feel sick to my stomach. I felt sick to my stomach as a father myself knowing that almost happened to my son."
Hiden described the encounter, saying: "My son was about down to his ankles in the water. I looked up and I saw about a six to seven-foot alligator coming right at him about 10, 15 yards away. So, I ran down there and grabbed my son and as I looked down there was another alligator about the same size about coming from the other angle.
“As I walked back to the hotel to tell the manager about it the alligators followed us. They were staying parallel to the water, followed us the whole time."
Hiden says he showed a photo to the hotel manager, who according to the lawyer said: “'Ah, it's not a big deal, those are the resident pets.’ They've known about them for years, they've never attacked anybody.”
Five gators were captured in the lagoon Wednesday.
Disney has a full-time staff focused on to controlling the alligator population.
All the beaches at Disney World have now been closed.