A family has had a horrific tragedy. They are dealing with something no parent should ever face. I can’t imagine having my child snatched and eaten by an alligator. This morning I was shocked to hear reporters asking if Disney was remiss in their signage, thereby contributing to the horror. Never mind that they’ve been open for decades and have had billions of visitors and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of such a tragedy happening on their property. Apparently, you only know that Florida is rife with alligators if you grew up in the region. Yes, that was almost a direct quote from one of the hosts.
I live and have grown up in the northern part of the country. The only alligators here live in zoos, yet I and my family grew up knowing that Florida has alligators, poisonous snakes, and hurricanes. The East Coast has hurricanes. The Pacific Rim has earthquakes and tsunamis. The oceans contain sharks and jelly fish. The Southwest has rattle snakes and scorpions. From Texas upward is a place called Tornado Alley. The mountains have rattle snakes, copperheads, bears, and can have dangerous thunderstorms pop up with little to no warning. The plains have rattle snakes and bison which can trample you without blinking. Cougars (mountain lions, whatever label you have for them) have returned to pretty much the whole country. Bears have been reclaiming territory. Moose can be deadly.
My point is that not every danger has to be labeled specifically. Sometimes we just need to be aware of our surroundings. I don’t know if this particular family knew about the gators or not, nor am I laying guilt on their doorstep. It happened and it’s awful. The Happiest Place on Earth did not want this type of tragedy to occur and are no doubt having brain storm sessions to improve prevention. Alligators are wild creatures and don’t read signs and rule books. The news and whoever else needs to stop looking for a scape goat.