Hungry Alligator Bites Man's Hand Off & Man Gets Arrested (LISTEN)

OMG 21

alligatorIf you're one of those people who have been searching for the living, breathing embodiment of the old adage "Common sense ain't so common anymore," you may be in luck. Wallace Weatherholt, a 63-year-old airboat captain, recently dangled his fish-clutching hand into the Florida Everglades while he was giving a nice family from Indiana a tour of the waters. And you know what happens to your hand when you dangle it into the Florida Everglades, right? Particularly when said hand is holding a tasty piece of fish? Why, it gets eaten by a 9-foot alligator, of course! (Wait, maybe this is the living, breathing embodiment of "Don't bite the hand that feeds you." Tee. Hee.)

Anyway! Do you know what happens to the rest of your body when you dangle your hand, which happens to be holding a fish, into the Florida Everglades? It gets arrested!

According to authorities in Everglades City, Florida, Weatherholt was arrested and charged on Friday with the unlawful feeding of an alligator (oh, Florida!), and later posted $1,000 bond. See, it's a second-degree misdemeanor (and not-so-smart) to feed the scary, sharp-toothed reptiles in the Sunshine State.

And now for the sad part.

After learning of the incident, wildlife officers tracked down the hungry gator and euthanized the poor guy. They found Weatherholt's hand inside of him, but were unable to reattach it.

I think the moral of the story here is pretty clear. But I'll say it anyway. Please don't feed the animals! Why, oh, why, would anyone think it's a good idea to place their hand -- their gator food-bearing hand! -- into the Florida Everglades? No matter how many times they've successfully done it, it's never a good idea. Does the adage "It's all fun and games until somebody loses a hand" mean nothing? Somebody always loses a hand when they're feeding gators!

So, now what are we left with? We have an August 22 court date for Weatherholt and the unnecessary killing of an alligator who was just trying to grab some lunch. For what? For nothing.

But what's done is done now. So I guess there's "no use in crying over spilled milk."

Listen to the 911 call:

Are you on Team Alligator or Team Weatherholt?


Image via Bogeskov/Flickr



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Stacey. Stacey.

I feel bad for this guy, I really do. He's just trying to make a living doing what he does best and I respect that. At the same time though, I live in FL and know all to well about alligators.

The problem with feeding them is that they learn to equate humans with food. This in turn makes them more aggressive towards humans, which is bad for the general publics safety. Alligators can be lurking anywhere, anytime.

My friends mother was killed by an alligator, she was doing yard work near a pond and a gator grabbed her and pulled her in. She lost all the skin from her neck to her groin and died from infection days later. Alligators are faster than you think, and can also climb fences.

CPN322 CPN322

Why on earth did they have to put the alligator down?!?! That man had no business putting his hand in there in the first place!

ghost... ghostbaby

I hate they put the gator down. People are well aware of the laws about feeding them and he was showing off and got what he deserved. Dont blame the gators for how ignorant people are. And people need to stop putting them down for being hunters in their own environments! I dont feel bad for the guy at all, make a living without breaking the law.

bills... billsfan1104

I agree with ghost and cpn

Megan Lee

It's not the animal's fault, yet it ultimately pays for human stupidity with it's life.

Stacey. Stacey.

They put the alligator down most likely because it has been conditioned to be aggressive towards humans since it is now used to being fed by them. I agree it sucks, but its for the safety of other people. Lots and lots of people go on alligator tours in the Everglades and so thats not a good chance to take.

Todd Vrancic

As Stacey said, the alligator is put down because it learned to associate humans with food.  So, to protect the law-abiding humans and innocent children who did not feed the alligator, the animal has to be put down.  It does indeed, as others have said, suck.

nonmember avatar Guest

They probably put the alligator down to try to save the hand for reattachment (which they said was unsuccessful).

nonmember avatar kari

that was just stupid. why on earth would he think it was safe to put his hand in the EVERGLADES!?!? he got what he deserved. why is everyone so upset that they put the alligator down? it's just an alligator! not an animal that could be considered a pet. it wasn't a dog, people. why is everyone so sympathetic for this hideous, aggressive, creature?

Donn Garrison

In the words of Red Foreman...."Don't feed the fucking alligators. Dumb ass!"

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