Disney closes beaches after gator attack

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. Disney beaches are closed after a gator attack on a 2-year-old, a park spokesperson said in a statement.

Security at the Grand Floridian resort, where the attack happened, was tight on Wednesday. Officials were not allowing anyone onto the property without a confirmed reservation. A law enforcement helicopter could be seen patrolling the water surrounding the resort.

Officials say the 2-year-old had been playing at the water's edge here at the Grand Floridian Resort when the gator attacked. Photo: Jennifer Brett.

Officials say the 2-year-old had been playing at the water’s edge here at the Grand Floridian Resort when the gator attacked. Photo: Jennifer Brett.

During an early morning news conference, officials labored to maintain a hopeful tone.

“It’s still a search and rescue operation,”Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said. “We are very hopeful. We are hoping for the best. Sometimes you get the worst but we are hoping for the best.”

Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said gator attacks on people are rare, but noted that Florida waterways are home to many of them. There’s no way to know their whereabouts.

“We have alligators in freshwater throughout Florida,” he said. “They move around.”

Publicly accessible social media posts from the resort property showed law enforcement’s frantic search:

 

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