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Old 06-15-2016, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Here and There
2,539 posts, read 3,278,928 times
Reputation: 3766

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoGuy View Post
I think 16' is the record. The golf course gator was considered to be 15'...I read.

Growing huge from grass fertilizer? Do you know anything at all?
I'm pretty sure the grass fertilizer comment was sarcasm if you were following the conversation, just saying.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
10,132 posts, read 9,365,730 times
Reputation: 13215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo48 View Post
Visitors to Florida just do not understand that gators can be anywhere here, including in developed areas with man made lakes and ponds; resorts, golf courses, etc.

We are from NY and moved to Florida about 10 years ago. We live in a Golf Development just feet from a man made pond (water hazard) on the course. I have seen gators in this pond many times, including Mamas and their Baby Gators. A couple of times I have seen them sunning themselves on the banks. People are warned, and we hear it many times, to not let their pets outside to roam free. I worry about letting my cats outside on my screened in lanai all alone. Unfortunately, what can happen to your pet, can also happen to your child.

Visitors to Florida need to know this. We certainly didn't coming from NY. I understand that the Hotel had a sign posted at this Lagoon saying "No Swimming", which these parents weren't actually doing. HOWEVER, they need to tell the people WHY. No Swimming. ALLIGATORS possible. It is a very real possibility with any body of water, especially during the Summer Rainy Season in Florida when these ponds and lakes get higher. The gators can swim through the underwater drainage systems from place to place.

Horrific tragedy but if an additional warning can save another child's life, do it.
Very sensible response.

While I totally agree with vilifying the parents of the kid who climbed into the gorilla exhibit, I totally disagree with the vilifying of the parents in this tragedy. So many armchair critics can give advice, but let's be honest here. Walt Disney World could have done a little more. Telling someone "no swimming" can mean many things - undertow, foul water, whatever. "No swimming - Alligators and Poisonous Snakes In Area" is far better signage and is probably the best CYA in terms of liability.

I believe the reason why Disney didn't get specific with the signage is because they portray the park as this idyll where things like dangerous predators and deadly animals do not exist. After all, it's the "happiest place on earth". I've been there at least five times, with and without kids, and that is the aura that you get when you're there. That's how it was designed. This uber-happy aura can easily catch people from other states offguard so that they don't realize that the "happiest place on Earth" is also in the middle of florida swamp that can be inhabited by alligators and other deadly fauna. Warning of alligator presence is bad for business. In addition, wading is not swimming.

I am placing quite a bit of blame on Disney because they don't educate their patrons about such risks. They should not have held the movie night near the water. They should have had better signage warning about predators that could be lethal. They should warn people that there is a possibly (regardless of how slight) that one would have a bad encounter with native wildlife. Native Floridians and transplants know about the dangers because they live there. But I will tell you that I didn't even think about alligators when I was in Frontier Land. The fact that there were FOUR alligators in the lake in addition to the one that is the target of the search is alarming.

I've since researched Disney World and alligators and it seems that they have a special animal control team that frequently removes large animals such as gators that make their way into the park. Tales abound of employees that encounter friends from Florida before the park opens. The public has a right to know about this very real risk. It's a total mistake to assume that the public SHOULD know that their child is in danger of being eaten along the shoreline of a manmade lake. And of course, gators do what gators do. It was probably habituated to humans in the park. That's why Disney should have been hypervigilant. That's my take on things.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:50 AM
 
3,279 posts, read 3,776,025 times
Reputation: 6149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo48 View Post
Visitors to Florida just do not understand that gators can be anywhere here, including in developed areas with man made lakes and ponds; resorts, golf courses, etc.

We are from NY and moved to Florida about 10 years ago. We live in a Golf Development just feet from a man made pond (water hazard) on the course. I have seen gators in this pond many times, including Mamas and their Baby Gators. A couple of times I have seen them sunning themselves on the banks. People are warned, and we hear it many times, to not let their pets outside to roam free. I worry about letting my cats outside on my screened in lanai all alone. Unfortunately, what can happen to your pet, can also happen to your child.

Visitors to Florida need to know this. We certainly didn't coming from NY. I understand that the Hotel had a sign posted at this Lagoon saying "No Swimming", which these parents weren't actually doing. HOWEVER, they need to tell the people WHY. No Swimming. ALLIGATORS possible. It is a very real possibility with any body of water, especially during the Summer Rainy Season in Florida when these ponds and lakes get higher. The gators can swim through the underwater drainage systems from place to place.

Horrific tragedy but if an additional warning can save another child's life, do it.
It's a bit off-topic, but this is why, if I were in charge, they'd SHOOT the durned things or relocate them. This is especially the case given the recent story of the 2 year old who was attacked by an alligator near a DISNEY resort of all places. Child, 2, Dragged Into Water by Alligator Near Disney Resort - NBC News I mean, gee whiz, it should be obvious that if messing around in a beach near DISNEY is risky, we need to take action, and the "action" shouldn't be presenting people with a list a mile along about what they can't do, it ought to be getting rid of the alligators in the form of hunting or relocating. People have the RIGHT, yes the RIGHT, to enjoy the outdoors however they feel like it and to get rid of anything that endangers a person who is doing so, especially in a place near Disney and especially on their own property.

I'm serious, if I had $20 billion or so to spare, I'd buy a house in FL, get one with a nice swimming lake, kill or relocate every single alligator I found, TELL everyone I did so, and then DARE them to do a thing about it. The minute they did, I'd use my influence and "go JR Ewing" on the area, having every business I owned shut down and people now unemployed for messing with me. If that's what it takes, so be it. People have lost all common sense in this country, I swear.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
6,335 posts, read 3,512,812 times
Reputation: 15091
Quote:
Originally Posted by mishigas73 View Post
I think it will be interesting how this one plays out- in terms of what a "reasonable person" (legally speaking) would interpret a "no swimming" sign to mean. To me, when I see a "no swimming" sign, I include wading, and splashing about in said water as included. I'm by no means saying that I'm the hypothetical "reasonable person" in this, but I do think that different people might have different interpretations of it.
Like you, I interpret "No Swimming" signs to mean you stay out of the water altogether (mostly because of the possible risk of rip currents or polluted water). But since I can see how some folks might take such a sign more literally, I think adding some details about the specific risk in question (in this case, alligators) might be helpful. It certainly can't hurt to let folks know there's a specific risk being guarded against by the no swimming rule. Certainly in this case I doubt the parents would have let their toddler anywhere near the water if they'd truly understood a hungry alligator could be in it!

Quote:
And this, to me, is where it will really be interesting- how much of Disney's "suspension of disbelief" culture played into this?

Disney has built its brand on fantasy and fairy tales. To put a "Beware of alligators" sign out goes against this.
I agree this is a big problem. While I'm sure Disney works hard to keep their parks as safe as possible, that will never mean they're 100% safe. Visitor need to remember there's a limit to what the park can accomplish in terms of safety from natural hazards (which in Florida includes alligators and cottonmouths as well as lightning), and supervise their kids (especially the very little ones, who have no real sense of danger).

Quote:
Again, from life experience, I know that alligators will come to just about any water source that is bigger than a rain puddle. I know this because of time that I've spent on the Gulf Coast. Would the average, "reasonable" person be expected to know of this danger though? Would the average person be expected to know that an obviously man-made lagoon can be a haven for alligators? Or, would the average person be expected to interpret a "no swimming" sign to mean, plainly, stay the heck out of the water?
And I think that's a big part of the problem: a hazard that's obvious to someone who has lived a long time in the area may be not-obvious-at-all to someone from a very different part of the world. Here in Nebraska we have no truly dangerous water animals; being nibbled by a sunfish is about as risky as freshwater swimming gets from a wildlife encounter standpoint. So I an see how someone from here who goes to visit Florida might be ignorant of the alligator risk. But we do have rattlesnakes, and tornadoes, and blizzards, and I've seen folks from other parts of the world who come here do terribly dumb things (form a local's perspective) in the face of those hazards.

Given that Disney resorts see guests arriving from all over the world, putting up more descriptive warning signage (and maybe also giving out a short safety pamphlet on the local hazards) would be a reasonable thing to do. It won't stop the foolish from Darwinizing themselves, but it might save the lives of those who are just honestly ignorant.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:36 AM
 
6,307 posts, read 7,153,678 times
Reputation: 8048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post

Given that Disney resorts see guests arriving from all over the world, putting up more descriptive warning signage (and maybe also giving out a short safety pamphlet on the local hazards) would be a reasonable thing to do. It won't stop the foolish from Darwinizing themselves, but it might save the lives of those who are just honestly ignorant.
I agree with you.

The fact is that this didn't even have to be someone in the water. Alligators can actually be quite nimble out of the water. I don't have small kids, but if I did, I certainly would not be letting them get close to any body of water like this in Florida.

Also, I just thought about this, since it is "Disney" and all. Would it be "reasonable" to assume that someone who has not had experience with gators and doesn't know the inherent dangers might look at a gator in the water at a Disney resort and think that it was something animatronic that Disney put there and go in for a closer look?

Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I'm thinking about how truly negligent Disney has been in not putting out specific warnings.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:44 AM
 
5,674 posts, read 3,217,069 times
Reputation: 6656
Quote:
Originally Posted by shyguylh View Post
It's a bit off-topic, but this is why, if I were in charge, they'd SHOOT the durned things or relocate them. This is especially the case given the recent story of the 2 year old who was attacked by an alligator near a DISNEY resort of all places. Child, 2, Dragged Into Water by Alligator Near Disney Resort - NBC News I mean, gee whiz, it should be obvious that if messing around in a beach near DISNEY is risky, we need to take action, and the "action" shouldn't be presenting people with a list a mile along about what they can't do, it ought to be getting rid of the alligators in the form of hunting or relocating. People have the RIGHT, yes the RIGHT, to enjoy the outdoors however they feel like it and to get rid of anything that endangers a person who is doing so, especially in a place near Disney and especially on their own property.

I'm serious, if I had $20 billion or so to spare, I'd buy a house in FL, get one with a nice swimming lake, kill or relocate every single alligator I found, TELL everyone I did so, and then DARE them to do a thing about it. The minute they did, I'd use my influence and "go JR Ewing" on the area, having every business I owned shut down and people now unemployed for messing with me. If that's what it takes, so be it. People have lost all common sense in this country, I swear.
I live in Naples, not far from the Everglades. While I don't know the exact name of it, there is an Agency of Wildlife Control. If a homeowner spots a gator on there property (common), they can call people specially trained who will capture and remove it. Have you ever heard of the Gator Boys? They do this for a living and have a TV show. They do not kill the gators but release them. I assume probably in the Everglades. Alligators are also a very popular food item here, so I suppose they are also sold, killed, and used as meat.

As someone else said, there have been instances of people here finding gators swimming in their (uncaged) backyard pools.

Gators are as much a part of Florida, as are the Palm Trees, and Disney World.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:49 AM
 
Location: CA
595 posts, read 972,567 times
Reputation: 347
Default I've given up watching the news

There is always one and often more heartbreaking stories that are causing me to lose sleep. Nightmares in the case of neighbors watching a young dog die of heat issues. He had bloody paws, and whined and then he was quiet.

So much for all the people who say they'd smash windows to save dogs.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
6,335 posts, read 3,512,812 times
Reputation: 15091
Quote:
Originally Posted by mishigas73 View Post
The fact is that this didn't even have to be someone in the water. Alligators can actually be quite nimble out of the water.
Exactly. "No swimming" just isn't specific enough to protect naive people from this hazard. If the kid had been a foot or two away from the water instead of in it, the story still ends up with him becoming a gator snack. "Danger - Alligators!" with a picture of a gator lunging out of the water and grabbing the leg of a person walking next to the lake would be a better warning sign for this particular danger. (The "No Swimming" signs might still be appropriate for other reasons, though.)

Quote:
Also, I just thought about this, since it is "Disney" and all. Would it be "reasonable" to assume that someone who has not had experience with gators and doesn't know the inherent dangers might look at a gator in the water at a Disney resort and think that it was something animatronic that Disney put there and go in for a closer look?
I hadn't considered that idea. You'd think most people could tell the real thing from an anamatronic exhibit, but some might get confused.

Last edited by Aredhel; 06-15-2016 at 12:00 PM..
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:53 AM
 
6,307 posts, read 7,153,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post

I hadn't considered that idea. You'd think most people could tell the real thing from an anachronistic exhibit, but some might get confused.
I was thinking more about people being in the mindset that there would not be dangerous/deadly animals within the park and assuming that this was just another "Disney atmosphere thing".

Not saying that it's "reasonable", it was just a thought I had.
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Old 06-15-2016, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
6,335 posts, read 3,512,812 times
Reputation: 15091
Quote:
Originally Posted by mishigas73 View Post
I was thinking more about people being in the mindset that there would not be dangerous/deadly animals within the park and assuming that this was just another "Disney atmosphere thing".

Not saying that it's "reasonable", it was just a thought I had.
I understand, and I agree that the mindset Disney seems to want to cultivate in its parks is risky for exactly that reason. There isn't a single spot on the planet that absolutely 100% free of all natural hazards. Wanting people to relax a bit and have fun is one thing, but promoting a false sense of safety that encourages people to completely turn off their brains is quite another.
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