Published: Tue, August 08, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Sculpture at Disney World honors Elkhorn-area boy killed by gator

Sculpture at Disney World honors Elkhorn-area boy killed by gator

- A statue was unveiled this week at Walt Disney World in honor of a toddler killed previous year by an alligator at the Grand Floridian Resort.

His parents and older sister had been visiting the Grand Floridian resort in June 2016 from the state of Nebraska.

The Seven Seas Lagoon had signage at the time of Lane's death saying 'No swimming.' Since the tragic event, Disney World has installed protective fencing around the lagoon and said it would be working on 'permanent, long-term solutions at our beaches'.

A lighthouse was chosen for the statue because it is the logo of the Lane Thomas Foundation, a charity set up by Graves' family.

Wildlife officials classified the killing as a predatory attack, saying the boy did nothing to provoke the alligator.

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His father, Matt Graves, tried to free his son from the alligator but he was unsuccessful in his attempt. The child's body was found 16 hours later and his death was ruled an accident.

A lighthouse at Disney World will honor a young life lost at theme park.

"The lighthouse sculpture has been installed to help spread awareness of the Lane Thomas Foundation, which was established to provide assistance and support to families whose children need organ transplants", a Disney spokesperson said.

It added signs warning guests of reptiles in its waterways.

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