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Sheriff: Boy Grabbed by Disney Gator Is Dead

The family 'will no question lose a 2-year-old child'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2016 12:43 PM CDT
Updated Jun 15, 2016 1:11 PM CDT

(Newser) – Fifteen hours after a boy was grabbed by an alligator and dragged underwater Tuesday night at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Orange County sheriff Jerry Demings says the family "will no question lose a 2-year-old child." "We’re working on recovering the body of the child at this point," says Demings, per NBC Miami. Officials say what happened to the boy is "not survivable," USA Today reports. According to WESH, the child was wading in the 200-acre Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian when he was grabbed by what witnesses say was a possibly 7-foot-long alligator. The boy's parents tried unsuccessfully to fight the gator off.

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The man-made Seven Seas Lagoon is connected to canals and lakes throughout Disney's property in Orlando, making the search difficult. The resort's beaches have been closed since the incident. Five alligators have been pulled from the water and euthanized, but so far there's no evidence any of them were responsible for snatching the child. Fifty or so people are continuing to search for the child's remains, and Demings hopes to find the boy Wednesday to "bring some closure to this family." Only 23 humans have been killed by alligators in Florida since the 1940s. (Read more alligator stories.)

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