BAY LAKE, Florida — Authorities are still searching for a 2-year-old child that was snatched by a gator and dragged into the Seven Seas Lagoon Tuesday night at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
More than 50 officers from the Orange County Sheriff's office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission are involved in the search at the lake outside Orlando, Fla., Orange County SHeriff Jerry Demings said.
Disney, meanwhile, said it had closed all beaches in its resort area “out of an abundance of caution."
The child's father attempted to wrestle with the gator as it pulled the toddler further into the water, said Demings. However, his attempts to free the child were unsuccessful and he received minor injuries.
The incident happened at about 9 p.m. Demings said the toddler's parent rushed to a nearby lifeguard, but no one was able to find or retrieve the young boy.
Police putting up yellow tape outside of The Grand Floridian directly across from Magic Kingdom in Orlando... pic.twitter.com/yBQc3r4hcG— ChristianTheMagician (@Menardness) June 15, 2016
Demings said the family is from Nebraska and on vacation at the resort. At the time of the incident, some family members were resting on a sandy area as the toddler and others waded in a shallow area of water.
Authorities say witnesses described the gator anywhere from four to seven feet in length.
Just overheard a group talking about how the father was wrestling with he alligator.. This just gets worse and worse— ChristianTheMagician (@Menardness) June 15, 2016
Authorities say two marine units and dozens of law enforcement are searching for the child. A helicopter was also sent above the area to search for the child above as authorities search by ground.
"As a father, as a grandfather, we're going to hope for the best in these circumstances, but based on my 35 years of law enforcement experience we know that we have some challenges ahead of us at this time," the sheriff said. "We'll be out throughout the night — the morning if you will — continuing this search until we have a successful resolution for this family."
Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which is spearheading the search, said the American alligator was feeding and likely confused the small child for a dog or a raccoon. The gators do not typically feed on humans.
“People – even small people – are not their typical prey,” he said.
"Everyone here at the Walt Disney World resort is devastated by this tragic accident," Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler said. "We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement."
There are posted signs warning guests against swimming in the lake, according to Demings.
The terrifying alligator attack at one of the world's favorite family vacation destinations comes as the Orlando area is still reeling from the mass shooting at a nightclub that claimed 49 lives Saturday and the fatal shooting of singer Christina Grimmie at a concert Friday.
"We're doing our best to deal with all of the situations that we have going on here, but our staff is very resilient and tonight they are very focused on assisting this family," Demings said.
"We're not leaving until we recover the child," he said.
ABC News contributed to this report.