An airboat captain is undergoing surgery in Tampa after a gator bit his left hand off in the Everglades.
Captain Wally Weatherholt works for Captain Doug's Airboat Tours.
It happened while he was on a boat with six tourists, who described a horrific scene in 911 calls.
"Oh Jesus Christ, it's my boat captain…it looks like he's lost his hand," one caller said.
Tuesday, the tourists who were with Captain Wally told reporters, "he was splashing water and throwing fish to the alligator to get it to come up and kind of put on a little show."
"He went to throw the fish a second time and that's when the gator jumped up and grabbed his hand," they said.
Witnesses back on the dock saw the airport race back.
"I saw the guy for a second but they ran behind the house back there. so quickly that no one saw anything," Ryan Carnick said.
As Fish and Wildlife officers showed up, witnesses pointed out the gator to them. Officers captured it, killed it, and cut it open. They found the captain's hand inside.
He was rushed to the hospital and then flown to Tampa General Hospital in hopes of reattaching the hand.
There's been no updates from the hospital on Captain Wally's condition or if the doctors were successful.
FWC is now investigating. They say they've visited Captain Doug's before.
"This feeding of the alligator, taunting of the alligator has happened in the past, and we have investigated that particular facility for exactly that," said Officer Jorge Pino.
They are looking at video and pictures that tourists say show workers at Captain Doug's provoking the alligators.
"The more aggressive you are in getting an alligator to come close to the boat, the more tips you are going to end up getting," Officer Pino said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?