Florida Airboat Captain Loses Hand to Alligator

An airboat captain giving visitors a tour of the Florida Everglades lost his hand to a hungry alligator.

Authorities suspect that Captain Wallace Weatherholt of Doug’s Airboat Tours was illegally feeding the alligator a snack in order to entice it closer to the boat to impress his tourists.

Although feeding alligators is an illegal practice, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Game Commission admits that it is a common practice for tour boat operators to throw marshmallows and bread to alligators in the water to encourage them to swim closer to the tour boats to provide a show for spectators.

The alligator who bit Weatherholt was quickly captured and killed in order that its stomach could be searched for the captain’s missing hand. Luckily, the hand was found in the creature’s stomach and Weatherholt was transported to a local hospital for its possible reattachment. Charges of illegal feeding can result in jail time or a fine.