In April, supervisors from the Reedy Creek Emergency Services, a special government district where Disney is a land-owner, sent employees an email asking them to stop feeding alligators near Station 3 – less than a half mile from the lagoon – because it is illegal and unsafe for humans, PEOPLE confirms.
“The communicators have found [one alligator] by the station, near the dumpster, and where they park their cars. As you can imagine this is making the communicators nervous because they are fearful of walking to their car and their leg becoming dinner. We have notified Animal Control to remove the alligator. In the interim could you ask your crews to stop feeding the gator,” communications captain Claude Rogers wrote in the email.
Reedy Creek district administrator John Classe says that “to his knowledge,” the incident – and the alligator – are not connected to Lane Graves.
“I think that’s the only time I’m aware of that happening. To my knowledge, it was an isolated incident, and when it was discovered, we took immediate action to curtail that activity,” Classe tells PEOPLE.
He adds, “The location of where the gator was described to be at Station 3 is a fair distance from the Seven Seas Lagoon and Floridian hotel. It’s a small pond and you have to cross two roadways to get over to that pond at Seven Seas Lagoon. It’s very unlikely that an alligator would have gone through that, left it’s territory and crossed to go to Seven Seas.”
Disney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
Classe says employees at Reedy Creek are quick to remind each other about the dangers of feeding alligators.
“It’s just constant communication, we have a team that is regularly out and about in the district like environmental scientists and they know how to manage wildlife,” he says. “It’s generally understood that you don’t feed alligators, they are wild animals.
“Occasionally you need reminders.”
Following Lane’s death, Disney took preventative measures to ensure this type of tragedy won’t occur again. They installed new warning red warning signs that warn guests to “stay away from the water,” and “do not feed the wildlife.”
The alligator that killed Lane was euthanized, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told PEOPLE.
Lanes parent’s, Matthew and Melissa Graves, held a funeral for the toddler in June in their hometown of Elkhorn, Nebraska.
“Melissa and I continue to deal with the loss of our beloved boy, Lane, and are overwhelmed with support and love we have received from family and friends in our community as well as from around the country,” they said in a statement.