Lifestyle & Belief

Wallace Weatherholt, who lost hand to alligator, arrested for feeding the alligator


An alligator is seen at National Biodiversity Institute on May 31, 2012 in Heredia, Costa Rica.



It’s bad enough that Wallace Weatherholt, a Florida airboat captain, had his left hand bitten off by a 9-foot alligator in June. Now he’s being charged with unlawfully feeding that alligator, the Associated Press reported.

The alligator attacked Weatherholt, 63, an employee of Captain Doug's Everglades Tours, in the Everglades while he was leading a tour for an Indiana family, West Palm Beach NBC News affiliate WPTV reported.

According to the AP:

The family said Weatherholt hung a fish over the side of the boat and had his hand at the water's surface when the alligator attacked.

Turns out feeding alligators is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, according to WPTV.

WPTV reports that, from Jan. 2011 to May 2012, six people were warned and 13 cited in Florida for feeding or enticing an alligator.

Following an investigation by Florida Fish and Wildlife officers into whether Weatherholt had fed or provoked the alligator, police officials arrested the captain on Friday, the Fort Myers News-Press reported.

Weatherholt left jail after posting a $1,000 bond and will reappear in court on Aug. 22, the Fort Myers News-Press reported.

Meanwhile, Weatherholt’s hand is gone forever. Wildlife officials recovered his hand from the stomach of the alligator after they tracked and killed the animal in June, but doctors were unable to reattach it, the Fort Myers News-Press reported.

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