Days after the tragic death of Lane Graves, a two-year old boy who was attacked by an alligator at Walt Disney World in Orlando, video has surfaced of guests of the theme park feeding alligators and even a Disney employee fending off a gator near Splash Mountain.
Footage shows a Disney World employee using a pole to poke and prod an alligator to force it back into the water. The gator is only feet away from Splash Mountain, one of WDW’s most popular amusement rides.
The video also shows guests feeding alligators at the park, along the lagoon where the 2-year-old was snatched.
TheWrap reports that Disney officials knew about the alligator dangers at the 7 Seas Lagoon for the past 14 months, but ignored the warnings by employees.
“Disney knew these alligators had become desensitized to humans, as they had begun to associate guests with food, and did not act in a proactive manner,” an anonymous former Disney employee told TheWrap.
Former Disney executive Duncan Dickson said, “The entire property is interconnected via canals so it is difficult to keep them out of the lakes. Gators are on all of the golf courses. The team attempts to relocate the gators to the uninhabited natural areas as best they can, but the gators don’t understand the boundaries.”
Disney has closed the beaches and is putting up fencing along the 7 Seas Lagoon.