Man who lost hand to alligator charged with unlawful feeding

Talk about adding insult to injury: An Everglades tour guide who lost his hand to an alligator last month was arrested over the weekend, charged with unlawful alligator feeding.

Wallace Weatherholt, a 63-year-old airboat captain, was leading a tour on June 12 when the group encountered a 9-foot alligator. Passengers told the Fort Myers News-Press that Weatherholt "hung a fish over the side of the boat and had his hand at the water's surface when the alligator attacked."

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Wildlife officials then tracked and killed the alligator, according to the paper. They "retrieved Weatherholt's hand from its stomach, but doctors were unable to reattach it."

Weatherholt was charged with unlawful feeding, a second-degree misdemeanor, on Friday. He posted $1,000 and was released from Collier County Jail.

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Feeding alligators is illegal in the state of Florida, where at least 19 people have been cited in the last two years, according to West Palm Beach's WPTV. The charges carry a fine of up to $500 and possible jail time.

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