Man busted for feeding gator that ate his hand

Wallace Weatherholt, 63, was leading a tour of Florida's Everglades when he allegedly reached over the side of his boat to feed a fish to an alligator. The 9-foot alligator bit off Weatherholt's hand at the wrist. Weatherholt was subsequently charged with a misdemeanor for unlawful feeding of a gator. (News-Press)



  1. That fine will double teach him… just in case he forgot the part about having his hand ripped off (or hasn’t bothered to watch the video of said hand removal on youtube).

    Maybe they can make him pay to take a class explaining what life is like after loosing a hand to an alligator as well (he might not know what its like yet).

    I also loved the part where they said “allegedly reached over to feed an alligator” and lost his hand. I guess its just as likely that he was minding his own business at a Winn-Dixi and lost his hand while reaching into a freezer case to buy a 6 pack of Klondike bars… just as he got his hands on the low fat variety, a roving alligator minding its own business in the freezer mistook his hand for ice cream (yeah.. it happens in florida) and the rest is internet “news” history.


    He is a stupid ass that probably wont do it again… or if he does do it a second time, he cant possibly do it a third time.

    1. Never doubt an Americans ability to keep doing the wrong thing… there’s always his feet.

  2. Would it be excessive to charge him with two counts, one for the hand and one for the fish?

    1.  It was still only one feeding.  A hand holding a fish is an alligator’s version of a sandwich.

  3. To be fair, passengers reported that he hung a fish over the side of the boat and had his hand at the water’s surface when the alligator attacked.    While losing a hand seems extreme, his actions also got that alligator killed as well.  

  4. I understand the reason for the law, but this charge should be dismissed and considered a lesson learned.

  5. Oh, see, I thought he had some sort of pet gator that ate his hand a while ago but the love was so strong that he still kept it and fed it steak every week or something. 

    1. See, you can’t actually charge him for being a dumbass. The punishment for that was losing a hand.

      But being a dumbass and losing a hand aren’t mitigating circumstances for reckless and illegal behaviour. I doubt the misdemeanor charge is top of his list of things to be upset about right now. Plead guilty, pay the fine, appear on a couple of TV shows, come out way ahead financially.

      Then for the rest of your life … “tick tock, tick tock”….

  6. well, he was kind of putting other people at risk right?  i’ve never been alligator watching before, but it seems unsafe to lead an out of state family on a tour that includes inviting alligators halfway up the side of the boat. 

    1. Feeding them encourages them to associate people with food.  It’s generally forbidden anywhere that large predators and humans occupy the same space.

      1.  Yeah, go on an airboat ride in Florida sometime. One of the first questions that the Captains ask is if anyone is, in any way, associated with law enforcement.

  7. Can anybody set themselves up as a tour guide or do they need some form of official accreditation?

  8. The fine was really just a slap on the wrist.

    Of course, they could have at least waited until his wrist was no longer gushing blood.

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