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Officials believe they've captured alligator that killed boy at Disney World

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Posted at 4:50 PM, Jun 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 04:15:21-04

Florida wildlife officials believe they've captured the alligator that dragged a 2-year-old Nebraska boy into the Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World.

Lane Graves of Nebraska was discovered about 16 hours after authorities first got the call that a reptile had taken the boy at Seven Seas Lagoon June 14.

Following the attack FWC removed several alligators out of the water to find out which one killed the young boy.

The commission said it has now suspended alligator trapping activities because it is confident that the alligator responsible for the attack has been removed.

FWC said it based its conclusion on "expert analyses and observations by staff with extensive experience in investigating fatal alligator bite incidents."

A total of six alligators were removed.

FWC released the following conclusions:

  • FWC Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program trappers captured three alligators in the size range believed to fit the subject animal.
  • Two of the animals captured were in close proximity to the incident location. Based on past experience, the alligator responsible is usually located in close proximity to the attack site.
  • Round-the-clock monitoring and trapping efforts have not produced alligators of the size capable of the attack since June 16.
  • In total, FWC humanely removed six alligators from the immediate area of the attack. This area is poor alligator habitat that will not support a large population of adult alligators.
  • FWC subject matter experts are very confident that, based on the totality of the evidence, the alligator responsible for the attack has been removed.
  • While results of a bite analysis were inconclusive, subject matter experts were able to conclude that either of the two suspect alligators captured near the attack site were capable of inflicting the observed wounds.
  • DNA was collected from the victim and all alligators captured. Results from the victim’s wounds were negative for animal DNA, and no comparison could be made.

Disney installed temporary barriers and signs at its resort beach locations and is working on permanent, long-term solutions at its beaches.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.