Parent of Another Small Boy Said Disney Mgr. Called Gator, ‘Resident Pet’ Last Year

RIP. Lane Graves
RIP. Lane Graves

*I’d hate to believe, after the fatal attack on little Lane Graves, that an employee at Disney once referred to an alligator on the property as a “resident pet.” But according to David Hiden, the father of a little boy who he saved from a potential alligator attack on Disney’s property last year, that’s exactly what happened.

Mr. Hiden told CNN News-Live that his son had a “close call” with a gator last year. In fact, he said that when his son was playing near the water, he looked out and saw two alligators making a bee-line towards him. That’s when Hiden says he jumped into motion; grabbing his kid, and running around the property looking for a manager.

But Hiden, who had video and photos of the gators, says he was shocked and couldn’t believe her response.

“She really didn’t care,” he said of the unnamed female manager he spoke to, and further stated his surprise when she referred to the reptile(s) as “the resident pet.” Hiden says she even told him the gator was “not harmful and never attacked anybody.”

He mentioned the chill he felt from her words, as he thought it would only be a matter of time.


Hiden told CNN that when he heard about little Lane Graves, he felt compelled to reach out to the family. The CNN news anchor asked him what he said to them, and while he responded that some of it was “personal,” he did say he shared photos that showed the date and time of his incident, and told them though he was “not looking to represent them,” he wanted them to know that he would be happy to write a statement if they needed it.

The grieving family of Lane Graves did manage to collect themselves long enough to issue a statement.

It reads…

“Words cannot describe the shock and grief our family is experiencing over the loss of our son. We are devastated and ask for privacy during this extremely difficult time. To all of the local authorities and staff who worked tirelessly these past 24 hours, we express our deepest gratitude.”

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