Gator attacks 2yo boy & drags him into water near Disney’s Orlando resort

© Eric Gaillard
An alligator, thought to be up to seven feet long, attacked a 2-year-old boy while he was playing in the water on the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon near an upscale Disney resort in Orlando, Florida. The toddler's father tried to rescue him, but the reptile dragged the boy into water.

UPDATE: Body of 2-year-old snatched by alligator at Disney World recovered

There is “no question” that the boy is dead, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at the press conference at noon Wednesday. The attack was simply not survivable, and the efforts underway are aimed at recovering the body.

Over 50 law enforcement officers have been searching the Seven Seas Lagoon. Disney has temporarily closed all beaches at the resort, a company spokesman said Wednesday morning.

The shocking incident happened near Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, a luxury resort owned by Disney.

The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa located in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. © Charles W. Luzier

A family of five from Nebraska was on vacation, relaxing on the shoreline when the attack occurred Tuesday night, Sheriff Demings told reporters. He told reporters that the alligator is between 4 feet and 7 feet (1.2 meters and 2 meters) long.

According to Demings, the father tried to save his son, but failed.

"The father entered the water and tried to grab the child and was not successful," Demings said, Reuters reported, adding that the boy's mother also tried to rescue him.

He reportedly had scratches on his hands after the ordeal.

Four alligators were taken from the water overnight, but no evidence was found that they were involved in the incident, Nick Wiley from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation told AP. He added that the reptiles have to be euthanized to be analyzed.

When Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahaler was asked if the company was aware of alligators stationed on the property, she said there were signs that said ‘no swimming’, AP reported.

Although there are no signs warning of gators in the area, there are notices posted against swimming in the man-made lake, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Hotel guest A J Jain and his family, visiting Disney from Georgia, told the newspaper that he and his kids were playing on the beach nearby when the incident happened.

“I can’t imagine what those parents are going through. It’s been one tough week in Orlando,” he said.

Demings said there have been no other recent reports of similar alligator attacks at the lake, AP said.

READ MORE: ‘Action beats inaction 100%’: Experts criticize, praise Orlando police in mass shooting

The tragedy comes two days after a gunman shot more than 100 people in an Orlando gay club, killing 49 people early Sunday in what has been described as the worst mass murder in modern US history.