Newly released records reveal that there was a second alligator involved in the tragic attack at Disney World in Florida last month that resulted in the death of 2-year-old Lane Graves.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, when Matt Graves, Lane’s father, detailed is harrowing account of the alligator attack to Capt. Tom Wellons of the Reedy Creek Fire Department, he made mention of a second gator.
Wellons wrote in an email to his supervisors about a conversation he had with Graves as he took the Nebraska father of two to the hospital to be treated for lacerations to his hands and arms that he sustained as he tried to grab Lane back from the alligator on the night of June 14.
The father shared “the horror that he experienced” as his son was being pulled into the water in the Seven Seas Lagoon by the alligator, and “how another gator attacked him as he fought for his son.”
Upon receiving the emails, Assistant Chief Stan Painter forwarded the note along to Orange County officials to let them know that a second animal was involved in the incident.
On Wednesday, June 22, one week after the incident, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced that it had caught the alligator that had grabbed the toddler as he waded on the shore at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
“The FWC is confident that the alligator responsible for the attack has been removed,” the agency said in a statement. “This conclusion is based on expert analyses and observations by staff with extensive experience in investigating fatal alligator bite incidents. The conclusion took into account the proximity to the attack site of removed alligators and witness descriptions.”
The Orlando Sentinel reports that a total of five alligators were killed in the 16-hour search for Lane’s body; the FWC statement referenced three alligators that were caught in the days following, two of which were near the location where Graves was snatched.
“Based on past experience, the alligator responsible is usually located in close proximity to the attack site,” the agency explained.
As previously reported, Lane, his sister and his parents were relaxing by the shore at the Disney World resort when Lane was snatched by the alligator and dragged underwater.
“Words cannot describe the shock and grief our family is experiencing over the loss of our son,” Matt and Melissa Graves said in a statement shortly after the incident. “We are devastated and ask for privacy during this extremely difficult time.”