(ALLIGATORS) FLORIDA — A gator bit off the hand of Everglades air boat captain Wallace Weatherholt last week while six tourists watched onboard. The captain was apparently feeding the gator marshmallows, a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. Unfortunately, Florida Fish and Wildlife officials killed the gator to retrieve captain Wally’s hand. Read on for more on the incident and why feeding wildlife is never a good idea. — Global Animal
The Huffington Post
A gator bit the hand off an Everglades City airboat captain on Tuesday while six tourists onboard watched.
The man, who is known as Captain Wally, was reportedly feeding the alligator while leading a Captain Doug’s Everglades Tour when the attack occurred.
In cell phone footage taken by a NBC2 producer who was on a Captain Doug’s tour a few weeks prior, an airboat captain can be seen feeding a large gator who jumps feet out of the water towards the food.
After the attack, Captain Wally, who FWC later confirmed is 63-year-old Wallace Weatherholt, reportedly drove himself back to the dock.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials had to kill the gator in order to retrieve his hand from its stomach.
Weatherholt and his hand were transported to NCH hospital in Naples but doctors were unable to reattach the severed limb, according to The Daily News.
FWC said a criminal investigation is pending as feeding gators is a second-degree misdemeanor.
A day earlier, a Gainesville man was bitten on the shoulder, forearm, and back by a nearly 10-foot gator while swimming in a small creek.
He was only able to escape the gator’s grip with the help of two men from a nearby camp who heard his cries for help.
The gator was later trapped by officials from the State Nuisance Alligator Program.