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Nearly 250 alligators removed from Disney properties following toddler’s death in 2016

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Watch: 250 alligators removed from Walt Disney World in last 5 years

Around 250 alligators have been removed from Disney sites in Florida following the the 2016 death of a toddler at the company’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

Lane Thomas Grave, 2, was killed by an alligator five years ago. Disney reacted to the tragedy by becoming more vigilant in monitoring alligators on their properties, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

The entertainment company collaborated with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to find the right personnel to remove the reptiles. Additionally, the company built barriers and erected signs alerting guests of their potential presence, and trained their staff in alligator precaution.

The attack on Lane Thomas Grave took place during alligator mating season, the time they are the most active and aggressive, according to alligator experts. This is because males are looking for females to breed with and females are hunting food.

According to Tammy Sapp from the the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the majority of alligators seized from Disney are put down, and their flesh and skin is sold. Each alligator trapper gets $30 and the funds from the leather or meat sale.

Disney had removed nearly 250 alligators since the death of toddler in 2016. (AP)
Disney had removed nearly 250 alligators since the death of toddler in 2016. (AP)

Some are taken to alligator farms or put in zoos, while alligators measuring less than 4 feet are relocated.

According to Disney’s permit, supplied by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, they are authorised to have 500 alligators hauled away between 2009 and 2023. As it stands, 429 have been removed from their sites during that period.

The Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program defines a problem alligator as longer than four feet and be deemed a threat to humans, animals and buildings. Since 2016, 17,000 complaints have been lodged and nearly 8,000 alligators have been removed.

In May, Disney explained its commitment to keeping the park free of predatory animals and wildlife as they were able to dedicate more time to the problem due to pandemic closures.

A spokesperson for the company told Orlando News 6, “In keeping with our strong commitment to safety, we continue to reinforce procedures related to reporting sightings and interactions with wildlife, and work closely with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to remove or relocate certain wildlife from our property in accordance with state regulations.”

Watch: Did Disney do enough to warn about alligators?

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