A British family was chased by an alligator at a Disney World resort weeks before Tuesday’s gator attack in which a 2-year-old boy was killed.
According to the Mirror, Carl and Karen Davies were sitting on the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort with their kids when a massive alligator appeared with a “jet ski”-like sound coming from the water.
As the dark shape emerged from the water, a Canadian family nearby screamed, “Alligator!” The Davies family started to sprint away from the water, escaping without any injuries.
“It was directly in front of us, around 40 feet away,” he told the Mirror. “It lurched out of the water and we had to run. It was pitch black with no lighting on the actual beach section.”
Carl Davies added that there was a sign telling tourists not to swim in the lagoon, but that there was no warning about alligators.
“[The alligator] was quite big, at least four-foot-long,” he added. “It’s quite scary to think that anyone with a driving license can pull up to the resort.”
The incident occurred two months before Lane Graves, a 2-year-old boy, was dragged into a lagoon by an alligator at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian resort on Tuesday night. His body has since been recovered intact, in close proximity to his last known locations.
Demings identified the parents as Matt and Melissa Graves, who were vacationing from Elkhorn, Nebraska, with their three children. At the time of the attack, they were relaxing on the shoreline when the alligator pounced. Matt Graves entered the water and tried to grab his son from the reptile, but was not successful.
In response to the attacks, Disney closed all beaches on its resort properties in the area. Authorities had trapped and euthanized four alligators to determine if any of them were involved in the attack, adding that Disney has had nothing like this happen since the day it opened in 1971.
“What I can tell you is that Disney has operated for 45 years and they’ve never had this type of thing happen before,” said Sheriff Jerry Demings said earlier on Wednesday. “It is Florida, and alligators are indigenous, but I want to reiterate that Disney has a wildlife management system in place, and they have worked diligently to ensure that their guests are not unduly exposed to wildlife here.”