On June 14th at approximately 9:15PM, a two year old boy was snatched up by an alligator and pulled into the murky depths of the Seven Seas Lagoon, a manmade lake owned and maintained by Disney. Aside from being located on a resort home to multiple swimming pools, where alligators lack any presence, the parents of the gone-to-soon Lane Graves allowed their child to wade in waters surrounded by numerous signs prohibiting visitors from swimming in the lagoon.
It wasn’t a pool, a beach, or a lounge area. The waters of the Seven Seas Lagoon are off-limits. A “WARNING: ALLIGATORS MAY BE HERE!” sign shouldn’t be necessary to cause the mind, let alone instincts, of a parent to kick in and keep their child out of potentially dangerous Floridian waters. Sadly for Lane Graves and his parents, the decision to allow their child to head on in resulted in a tragic death.
Florida is a state barely above sea level that contains a vast amount of swampland. Walt Disney built Disneyworld in Orlando not only because the land was dirt cheap due to it being a fucking swamp, but in large part due to the combination of Interstate 4 and the Florida turnpike at the time. That, plus the neighboring airport, made this the perfect location for a business savvy man like Mr. Disney.
Regardless of Seven Seas being a manmade lagoon, it’s a lagoon nonetheless. A lagoon, to hold true to it’s legal definition, will always be connected to other bodies of water. Where do alligators live in Florida? Water. Simple. Added to the fact that Disneyworld boasts about possessing a pool with a 181-foot-long waterslide plus a water play area and a Courtyard Pool that includes a kiddie pool and whirlpool spa, the parents could have just made their child wait until the following morning to go swimming. And although the Seven Seas Lagoon is a 60 mile, hour long drive from Cocoa Beach, that was a possible option as well.
The media proceeded to jump down the throats of the parents of the child who fell in Harambe’s habitat, so why are we seeing an outpour of sympathy towards the parents of Lane? Because their child ended up dying? Because Lane was white? Because there’s no video for us to gawk at? It’s tragic, don’t get me wrong; but I refuse to show unabashed sympathy towards a death that could have easily been prevented. The fact is, a lapse of responsibility is what led to the fatal alligator attack on their two year old child.
Anybody who vacations, lives in, or visits Florida knows you do not swim in any outdoor body of water besides the ocean. It’s a damn shame that Lane died, but all of the unconditional sympathy needs to be put on hold for a minute and a concentrated look needs to be given to both Matt and Melissa Graves. To condemn the parents of the child who fell in Harambe’s pit and to pity the parents of Lane makes no damn sense. It’s a shame the kid died, but he wouldn’t have if his parents kept a better eye on him and refrained from foolishly allowing their child to enter a body of water that had multiple signs posted prohibiting entry.