Gator bites captain hand, Gator bites off man's hand. Never forget that alligators are always dangerous. According to Florida television station WBBH a 63-year-old Florida airboat captain had his hand bitten off by an alligator on Tuesday. The alligator was killed and the man's hand was retrieved from its stomach, according to the WBBH report.An alligator bit off a Florida man's hand on Tuesday (what is his occupation?). Wildlife officials retrieved the man's hand from the gator's stomach and then euthanized the reptile. Officials are investigating whether the man fed the gatorAn airboat captain from Everglades City, Florida, had his left hand ripped off by an alligator while he was apparently feeding the animal on Tuesday.
Witnesses said the victim, identified as 63-year-old Wallace Weatherholt who goes by the nickname Captain Wally, was seen feeding a nine-foot alligator fish minutes before the animal bit off his hand.
Incredibly, the severed limb was later retrieved from the reptile's stomach when officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) tracked down and killed the gator.According to WINK News, the attack happened at around 3:45pm when Weatherholt, an employee of Captain Doug's Everglades Tours, took a group of five people, among them children, for a ride on the water.
Witness Judy Chroniak-Hatt told the TV station WCHS that Weatherholt was hanging a fish over the side of the boat, and the nine-foot alligator jumped up and grabbed it, then went back into the water.The reptile leaped out of the water again, this time getting its two front feet inside the vessel, according to Chroniak-Hatt, raising concerns that the airboat might tip over, putting the lives of three women, two young children and Weatherholt himself in jeopardy.
According to Chroniak-Hatt, tragedy struck when the airboat captain was patting the water, trying to get the alligator to come up again.
Witnesses said Weatherholt was conscious when he arrived back at the dock following the attack. Weatherholt was then rushed to the Naples Community Hospital, according to FWC spokesperson Carli Segelson.Wildlife officials had managed to find the alligator, euthanize him and retrieve Weatherholt's hand from his stomach. The severed limb was then brought to the hospital.
Captain Doug’s manager Glenn Smith said in a phone interview with the Daily Mail on Wednesday that doctors were sadly unable to reattach the severed hand. Weatherholt has since been released from the hospital.
Smith declined to comment on reports that the victim was feeding the alligator at the time of the attack.
‘It was just an unfortunate incident,’ he said.
However, on Wednesday, FWC officials told WINK News that Captain Doug's Everglades Tours has a history of tour guides taunting alligators. It is a second-degree misdemeanor to feed the reptiles.
Weatherholt has been cited for a violation of navigational rule. If he is charged in this case, he could face a $500 fine and up to six months in jail