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Photo Of Nebraska Boy Killed By Gator Released

Yesterday Matt and Melissa Graves got the heartbreaking news that the body of their 2-year-old son Lane had been recovered intact, just 15 yards from where he was snatched, playing in about a foot of water near the shore of a lake at the Disney World resort around 9pm Tuesday night.

Before the news broke we couldn’t help but notice the rumblings online about how Graves’ parents hadn’t been subjected to the same scrutiny as Michelle Gregg and Deonne Dickerson, the parents of the 3-year-old who fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. That incident ended in the death of Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla who some people believe was trying to help the little boy.

There are several differences in these two scenarios. Of course there is the obvious racial one — Lane and his family are white while Isaiah (the boy in Cincinnati) is black. There is also the obvious human element — Lane’s parents lost a child while Isaiah survived.

The other major difference, Harambe was inside an enclosure, while the Disney Resort only had signs warning not to play or swim in the lake. While many Florida locals are well aware that alligators can strike just about anywhere, the Graves hail from Nebraska and likely were not as conscious of their surroundings. Disney World officials said Wednesday there had never been a fatal alligator attack in its 45 years of operation.

The resort was aware there were alligators in the area however, because according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the agency worked with the resort to relocate alligators over 4 feet long.

CNN’s Jake Tapper posted this photo of the area to illustrate how the Graves could have easily underestimated the dangers of the lagoon area.

What do you think about the way this story is being reported? What are the racial implications? Do you think the public is more sympathetic towards the Graves because they are white or because they lost a child? If you were them, would you sue?

Our hearts go out to them. This is a sad situation all the way around.

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