Alligator bites off airboat captain's hand in Fla.

Alligator floats in Everglades AP Graphics

(CBS/AP) EVERGLADES CITY, Fla. - Wildlife officials say an alligator has bitten the hand off an airboat captain in southwest Florida.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say wildlife officers tracked and euthanized the alligator after the attack Tuesday afternoon in Everglades City.

Commission spokeswoman Carli Segelson tells the Naples Daily News the hand was pulled from the alligator's stomach and taken to the hospital where the captain was being treated.

No additional details about the attack were immediately available. It was unclear if anyone else was in the boat.

The commission identified the captain as 63-year-old Wallace Weatherholt of Captain Doug's Everglades Tours.

According to CBS affiliate WINK Fort Myers, the captain was taking six tourists on a ride. Witnesses say they saw the captain feeding the alligator prior to the attack.

"The captain in the boat in front of us had his hand bitten off by an alligator," said Ryan Carnick of Oakland, California, a tourist.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers say Weatherholt may have incited the alligator in the attack, according to WINK. They say they are seeking to interview the captain.



Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.