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Man Charged With Feeding Alligator that Ate his Hand

Wallace Weatherholt was devastated when an alligator bit off his hand in Florida. The 63-year-old was in the Florida Everglades giving a tour to a family from Indiana when a 9-foot alligator rushed towards them. The powerful gator jaws severed the older man’s hand, and he was rushed to the hospital. Weatherholt, who works with Captain Doug’s Small Airport Tours, was allegedly hanging fish on the side of his tour boat when he was bit by the charging gator. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commissioner says that Weatherholt was purposely taunting the alligator by hanging the fish in order to give tourists a first-hand gator experience.

While he certainly didn’t intend to be bitten, Weatherholt wanted his tourists to get an up close and personal experience with Florida’s most feared and famous wild animal. Because Weatherholt was allegedly taunting the gators, he faces misdemeanor charges. In Florida it is against the law to feed an alligator. The legislators hope that this statute will keep people from losing a hand like Weatherholt did. The FWC tracked down and killed the alligator that attacked Weatherholt after the incident. The one-handed man is now in jail and faces a fine up to $500 if convicted.

In most animal attack cases, the person attacked is responsible for the incident that occurred. If the victim prompted the attack by teasing or taunting the animal, then he or she cannot seek damages for his or her pain and suffering. Yet if you were in an area where you should have been protected and another party failed in their duty, you have a right to press charges. You can also press charges if you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence. For example, if the tourists on Weatherholt’s boat were hurt because he hung fish over the edge, then they would have the right to litigate and obtain damages for their injuries. Talk to a personal injury lawyer today to determine whether or not you have a legitimate personal injury case.