The body of a 2-year-old boy who was dragged off by an alligator at Disney World Tuesday night has been found.
The boy was "wading" in less than a foot of water on the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon, a manmade lake in the resort area of Disney World, when he was attacked, CNN says. The boy's father jumped in the water and tried to pry the gator's mouth open, but the animal dragged the boy underwater, the news station says.
There has been no incident like this in Disney's 45-year history, Jerry Demings, of the Orange County Sheriff's Office, said.
Demings said at a news conference Wednesday morning there was "no question" the boy was dead, and they were working to recover the his body and bring closure to his family. According to CBS News, four alligators were taken from the lake, killed, and searched prior to finding the boy's body.
By Wednesday afternoon, divers found the the young child's body from within the "immediate" area of where the boy was last seen, Demings said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. He believes the boy likely drowned after being pulled underwater by the alligator, noting the boy's body was intact.
Disney closed all beaches in the resort area around the Seven Seas Lagoon "out of an abundance of caution," according to CNN.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has plans to work with Disney World to address alligators in the park, as well as consider measures to make sure this kind of attack "never happens again," the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Florida averages five unprovoked alligator bites ever year, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says. Since 1948, there have been roughly 300 unprovoked bites, with 22 resulting in deaths.
Before this, there was only one major alligator bite in the state this year, the conservation commission notes.
In 2015, more than 54 million visited one of Disney's Florida parks in 2015, the Themed Entertainment Association says. Attendance at Magic Kingdom – which appears to be the closest resort to the hotel – came in at almost 20.5 million.