Disney Alligator Update: Firefighters Caught Feeding Gators Near Disney Resort Months Before Toddler Was Killed
The Orlando Sentinel recently revealed information that sheds more light about the infamous alligator attack in a Disney resort in Florida last month.
The news site said the information was obtained from an e-mail, after a public-records request was made in line with the investigation.
According to the e-mail, two months before the attack on June 14, firefighters were seen feeding one of the two alligators spotted at Fire Station 3, located off Floridian Way on Maple Road Reedy. This area is in close proximity to the Seven Seas Lagoon where the two-year-old Lane Graves was snatched and killed by an alligator.
The report said Captain Claude Rogers of Reedy Creek Emergency Services warned and admonished the Reedy Creek's fire command staff for their careless behavior and ordered them to remove the gator.
Below is the content of e-mail's, as obtained by the Orlando Sentinel:
"It was brought to our attention firefighters are feeding the alligators. The communicators have found [one alligator] by the station, near the dumpster, and where they park their cars. As you can imagine this is making the communicators nervous because they are fearful of walking to their car and their leg becoming dinner. We have notified Animal Control to remove the alligator. In the interim could you ask your crews to stop feeding the gator."
However, they did not know if the gator was indeed sent away.
An illegal act
Feeding alligators in Florida is illegal. Alligator Regulations and Associated Statutes 2016-2017 prepared by the Alligator Management Program of the state's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission states that feeding or enticement with food of crocodiles is unlawful.
The statute reads: "No person shall intentionally feed, or entice with feed, any crocodilian unless held in captivity under a permit issued by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or otherwise provided by this Title."
Those caught doing so must face penalties, including appearing before the county court and paying civil penalty.
Feeding alligators will allow them to lose their natural fear of humans. It might also make them think that humans mean food. When they see a human does not throw them food, they might attack.
Alligators are predators by nature, and conflict between their population and humans are inevitable.