Gator Removals At Disney Rise After Toddler’s Death

Matt and Melissa Graves, parents of Lane Thomas, the 2-year-old Nebraska boy who was killed by an alligator last year at Walt Disney World, speak at a news conference in Omaha, Neb., Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. They have created a foundation to help families with children receiving organ transplants. Photo: AP Photo/Nati Harnik.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — State wildlife officials say the number of alligators removed from Walt Disney World property more than doubled in the six months after a Nebraska toddler was killed when a gator pulled him into the water.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the alligators were removed as part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife agency’s alligator nuisance program, which eliminated gators longer than 4-feet (1 meter).

An alligator grabbed 2-year-old Lane Graves of Omaha, Nebraska, as he played on a beach outside Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort on June 14, 2016. Prior to his death that year, 24 alligators had been removed from Disney properties. The number more than doubled to 53 from the day of his death to the end of that year.

Disney said in a statement the company is working with wildlife officials.