River Guide Loses Hand Feeding Gator
Animal killed, hand reattachment fails
A Florida tour boat captain lost a hand in the Everglades on Tuesday after enticing an alligator with fish and marshmallows. Airboat guide Wallace "Wally" Weatherholt, 63, intended to give the six tourists on board a thrilling photo by baiting nearby alligators. As he slapped the water, a nine-foot gator lunged from the water and bit off Weatherholt's left hand, swallowing it whole. Authorities euthanized the alligator and were able to retrieve the hand from its stomach, but efforts to reattach the body part failed. Weatherholt faces fines and even prison time if Florida Fish and Wildlife officials prove he illegally fed the animals. "You embolden them when you feed them.... They've been taught that people mean food," alligator expert Jim Nesci said.
Read more at The Los Angeles Times
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside →