A mother has posted pictures of her son standing on the same Disney resort beach where toddler Lane Graves was attacked and killed by an alligator just an hour later.

Jennifer Venditti, of Massachusetts, shared pictures of her son Channing, 3, wading into Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando - taken an before Lane Graves was grabbed by an alligator as he paddled in the water with his parents Matthew and Melissa and older sister.

Lane's had attempted to to save his son after the gator snatched him, but he could not pry the toddler from the animal's grasp.

Although there are "no swimming" signs at the beach, they do not warn of the danger of alligators. Disney says it will "thoroughly review" it signs after the tragedy amid mounting criticism.

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Venditti, who said her son was playing in the "exact spot" little Lane was attacked, has leaped to the defence of the family who have faced criticism after the death of their son.

"I've already seen posts criticizing the parents. I can assure you alligators were not on my mind at all when Channing was in the water," she wrote in an open letter on Facebook.

"It's a tiny beach, surrounded by pools, water slides, a restaurant and a fire pit. I can't conceive that an alligator would be in such a busy, small space."

She also urged people to pray for the family in the wake of the tragedy, asking: "How does one go home without your baby in tow?"

PRAY, PRAY so hard for the family & for those who witnessed this tragic event. I took these pics at the exact spot this...

Posted by Jennifer Venditti on Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Grave family, from Nebraska, had been 10 feet from the shore of the lagoon when their son was snatched by the predator.

Even though there were signs warning against swimming in the lagoon, they did not tell guests to be aware of alligators.

Last night, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demmings confirmed the body of Lane had been recovered 'intact' from the lagoon.

Authorities had scoured the area with a boat, helicopter and with a dive team and used sonar equipment to finally locate the body in the "murky" water.

Officials will perform an autopsy but the sheriff said he believes "the child was drowned by the alligator".

It came 17 hours after his father had attempted to to save his son after the gator snatched him, but he could not pry the toddler from the animal's grasp - and the creature disappeared underwater, taking the child with it.

The Graves family were on the third day of their vacation in Orlando when tragedy struck on Tuesday night.

Jennifer Venditti with her son Channing:
Jennifer Venditti with her son Channing: "I've already seen posts criticising the parents. I can assure you alligators were not on my mind when Channing was in the water."

Sheriff Demmings also confirmed it was unlikely that Lane's parents to be charged with any sort of neglect and added that the alligator probably drowned the toddler and abandoned his body on the bottom of the lagoon.

Demings added that the boy had been playing along the water's edge, doing "what any 2-year-old would do" on a pleasant Florida evening.

During the search, wildlife officials caught and killed five alligators in the lake and they say they will now use forensics to determine whether they have already euthanized the gator responsible for the attack.

If not, officials promised to continue searching the lake for the creature.

Demings also said his department and the state wildlife agency would look into the issue of signs around Seven Seas Lagoon, where Disney had posted 'no swimming' signs but no warnings about the presence of alligators.

Lane Graves was taken by an alligator while he was paddling at a Disney resort beach.
Lane Graves was taken by an alligator while he was paddling at a Disney resort beach.

Walt Disney World shut down all of its Florida resort beaches and marinas out of precaution after the incident - the first such death in its 45-year history.

The resort has admitted that it routinely captures and moves dangerous gators from its grounds despite the signs at the Seven Sea Lagoon only warning against deep water and steep drop-offs.

Disney are facing mounting questions over why there was no sign telling guests to be aware of alligators where toddler Lane was dragged to his death.

At neighbouring resort, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, signs around the shore of a lake read: "Please be aware of alligators in the lake."

Hundreds of people have since poured onto social media, condemning Disney's sign policy in the wake of the horrifying incident.

Some claimed a "no swimming" sign simply doesn't work while others urged the parents of the tragic boy to sue the company.