A search is underway for a two-year old child who was reportedly dragged into a lagoon by an alligator at Disney World resort.
The child was staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, which is one of three located on the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Authorities believe the child was taken by the alligator at around 9.30pm on Tuesday night while wading in the shallows, but after hours of scouring the water, there’s still no sign of him, according to the Guardian.
Orange County sheriff, Jerry Demings, told reporters the boy’s father, who was supervising him at the time, had tried in vain to wrestle his son from the creature’s jaws.
“There is a sandy beach area and the family was out simply relaxing… and in the water along the lake’s edge at the time the alligator attacked the child,” Demings said.
“The father entered the water and tried to grab the child and was not successful in doing so. At some point I am told the mother may also have entered the water.
“The parents diligently tried to get the child.”
The family was on holiday from Nebraska and the boy is one of three children.
The search will continue through out the night and Demings said he was “very hopeful” the child would be located.
“As a father, as a grandfather, I’m going to hope for the best in these circumstances. But based upon my 35 years of law enforcement experience we know that we have some challenges ahead of ourselves at this time,” he said.
The Orlando Sentinel reported some witnesses saw the toddler along the beach near the water before the attack occurred, but no eye witnesses who saw the attack were available for comment.
Several commentators took to Twitter to express their horror at the situation.
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) June 15, 2016
— Adrian Whitsett (@AdrianWhitsett) June 15, 2016
How do you as a parent let your child fall into a gorilla enclosure or get dragged into a lagoon by an alligator? — brooke barr (@Brooke_Barr) June 15, 2016
This alligator at Disney…man. The father in me can’t imagine a worse nightmare than that. — ScottInSC (@ScottInSC) June 15, 2016