Florida man who lost hand charged with feeding gator

Florida man who lost hand charged with feeding gator

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

An alligator is seen at the National Biodiversity Institute on May 31, 2012 in Heredia, Costa Rica. Next June 5 celebrates World Environment Day. AFP PHOTO/ Rodrigo ARANGUA (Photo credit should read RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/GettyImages)

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by Associated Press

KMOV.com

Posted on July 29, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Updated Sunday, Oct 20 at 4:12 AM

EVERGLADES CITY, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida airboat captain whose hand was bitten off by a 9-foot alligator faces charges of feeding of the animal.

Collier County Jail records show 63-year-old Wallace Weatherholt was charged Friday with unlawful feeding of an alligator and later posted $1,000 bond. His next court date is Aug. 22.

The arrest was first reported by the Fort Myers News-Press.

Weatherholt was attacked on June 12th as he was giving an Indiana family a tour of the Everglades. 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.

Wildlife officers tracked and euthanized the gator. Weatherholt's hand was found but could not be reattached.

A criminal investigation followed. Feeding alligators is a second-degree misdemeanor.

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