The parents of Lane Graves, the 2-year-old boy who was killed by an alligator at Walt Disney World in Florida, are speaking out about their "shock and grief" following the death of their son, ABC News reports.
Matt and Melissa Graves, who live in Elkhorn, Nebraska, issued the following statement:
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.
Unlike the outcry that occurred when a boy fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, the reaction to the Graves family has been mainly sympathy, not outrage. People reports that their Nebraska neighbors have decorated their home with blue and white balloons, and tied blue ribbons around the entire neighborhood as a show of solidarity.
Meanwhile, other parents are posting stories about their own close calls with alligators at the resort. New Hampshire resident Paul Santamaria told local media that he was bitten on the leg by an alligator when he was 8 years old and staying at Disney's Fort Wilderness resort.
And mom Jennifer Venditti shared photos of her child in the same lake at the Grand Floridian resort, just 30 minutes before Lane was attacked.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.