The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced on Wednesday, June 22, that it was “confident” it had caught the alligator responsible for attacking and killing 2-year-old Lane Graves at a Disney World resort in Orlando last week.
“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 statement also revealed that trappers captured three alligators that fit the size range of the animal in question (between four and seven feet long), with two found 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.
Nick Wiley, the executive director of the FWC, shared his condolences to the family over the deadly incident, which took place at the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
“There are no words to describe the profound sadness we feel for the family of Lane Graves,” he said. “We will continue to keep this family close to our hearts as they deal with the pain and grief of the loss of Lane.”
As previously reported, Lane was playing in the shallows of the lagoon when the alligator grabbed him. His father, Matt, tried to rescue him but was unsuccessful. Lane’s body was found intact about 16 hours later, and authorities later determined that he had died from “drowning and traumatic injuries.”
At the funeral for the toddler, held in Nebraska, his parents revealed that they had established a charitable foundation in honor of their little boy. “Losing Lane has broken our hearts in the worst possible way,” they wrote in a statement on the foundation’s website. “While there is no way to mend our hearts, we can do good work in his honor."
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