*Everyone was heart broken when we learned that 2-year-old Lane Graves had been snatched from his playpen at a Disney World area lagoon by an alligator, and found dead on the ocean’s bed a few days later. Now, in wondering how the family is coming along, we learn that though their pain is still very strong, they will not be pursuing legal action against Disney World.
A statement released by Matt and Melissa Graves on Wednesday states, “Melissa and I are broken. We will solely be focused on the future health of our family and will not be pursuing a lawsuit against Disney.
The heartbroken parents continue…
“We will forever struggle to comprehend why this happened to our sweet baby, Lane. As each day passes, the pain gets worse, but we truly appreciate the outpouring of sympathy and warm sentiments we have received from around the world.”
“We know that we can never have Lane back, and therefore, we intend to keep his spirit alive through the Lane Thomas Foundation. “It is our hope that through the foundation we will be able to share with others the unimaginable love Lane etched in our hearts,” they continued. “For now, we continue to ask for privacy as we focus on our family.”
So many feelings erupted from the outpouring of public sympathy for this family online. But included were those who did not hold back about the differences in treatment of this fatal incident, versus that of little Isaiah Dickerson, 4, whose fall into a gorilla pit at the Cincinnati Zoo threatened his life, yet had an angry public more interested in blaming the child’s mother (calling her “lazy” and even proposing that protective services take her child away) and appearing more incensed at the zoo’s decision to kill Harambe, a beloved primate.
It’s as if they would have been more satisfied if Isaiah was killed.
In spite of comments by top animal experts such as Jack Hannah, and his attempts to explain why the killing of Harambe was necessary, critics of the end result didn’t accept the heartfelt post by Michelle Gregg, the little boy’s mother, which extended her “heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff” and said, “We know that this was a very difficult decision for them, and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla.”
Instead, critics posted an online petition called “Justice for Harambe,” which garnered more than 300,000 signatures that called for an investigation of the mother and consideration that her child be taken away.
With the Disney incident, where Lane’s dad even jumped into the water in an unsuccessful attempt to get his son away from the gator — there were doubts as to whether signage that simply warned visitors against swimming in the lake was enough to deter the parents who some reports say had been wading in the water; with their son near the lake’s edge..
Since that time, new warning signs, which appear in red, have replaced the old signage at Disney, and reads more specifically: “DANGER. ALLIGATORS AND SNAKES IN AREA. STAY AWAY FROM THE WATER. DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE.” The signage also features images of an alligator and a snake.
Previous signage at the Grand Floridian had simply told visitors: “No Swimming Allowed, Thank You.”