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Gator Feeder Loses Hand, Faces Charges

Tour captain illegally plied the animal with fish

A Florida airboat captain who lost his hand to an alligator was arrested Friday and faces a second-degree misdemeanor charge for feeding the gator. Wallace Weatherholt was dangling a fish over the side of the boat while giving a tour to an Indiana family when a nine-foot gator jumped out of the water and bit his hand off at the wrist. Wildlife officers were able to track down and euthanize the alligator, but the recovered hand could not be reattached. Alligator feeding is illegal in Florida because they become habituated and more likely to attack humans. "Alligators have a natural fear of humans,"  David Weathers, a nuisance-alligator trapper, told the News-Press. "If they see us, they take off. They see us as these giants hovering over them. They're not going to attack unless they've been fed."

Via New York Daily News

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Filed To: News