Disney is catching an alligator a week on its properties as the entertainment giant battles its growing reptile problem.
It’s been five years since Lane Thomas Graves, a two-year-old boy from Nebraska, was taken from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa by a massive alligator.
Lane had been playing with other children at the resort’s man-made Seven Seas Lagoon on the night of June 15, 2016.
As Lane bent over to fill his bucket with water to make a sandcastle, the alligator struck, grabbing the toddler and dragging him back into the water.
Lane’s father Matt Graves fought the alligator, attempting to pry its jaws open, but his hands and leg were injured.
Police divers found Lane’s body submerged in the murky lagoon a day later.
Lane Graves was tragically taken by an alligator five years ago. Picture: AFPSource:AFP
Disney World putting up a fence at the lagoon after Lane’s death.Source:Supplied
Since the horrific incident, Disney has taken steps to try and keep its Florida properties safe from alligators, but the exploding population has made things difficult.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, there’s been 250 alligators caught at Disney World since June 2016 – that’s almost one a week.
Due to the massive reptile population, Disney long ago outsourced the help, paying Florida’s famous gator trappers $US30 ($A40) per alligator.
Trappers are also allowed to keep any profits from the leather or meat sold.
Disney World has been battling alligators for years.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, more than 220 alligators had been removed from the theme park and its surrounding resort from May 2006 to August 2015.
But the alligators that choose to move into Disney World are rarely destined to be rehomed.
Tammy Sapp, a spokeswoman for the wildlife commission, said most of the 250 alligators caught had been euthanised.
Some are sent to farms, exhibits or zoos and those under 1.2m are relocated to other parts of the state.
“The FWC takes public safety seriously and uses Targeted Harvest Area (THA) permits as part of a comprehensive effort to achieve alligator management goals,” Ms Sapp told the Orlando Sentinel.
“THA permits allow a managing authority to work directly with a designated FWC contracted nuisance alligator trapper, making the process for removing nuisance alligators more proactive and streamlined.”
Signs were installed at the lagoon in the days after Lane’s death. Picture: Spencer Platt/GettySource:AFP
The alligators lucky enough to be rehomed join the more than 1.3 million gators living around Florida.
The commission receives around 17,000 alligator complaints and removes 8000 of them every year.
Disney World has been battling with alligators for years. Picture: David Roark/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
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