After the attack, Florida Fish and Wildlife officers began an investigation into whether the captain had fed or provoked the alligator, leading to the attack.
In an interview shortly after the attack, FWC spokeswoman Carli Segelson said that there had been allegations of that happening.
The Associated Press reports that airboat passengers stated Weatherholt hung a fish over the side of the boat and had his hand at the water’s surface when the alligator attacked.
Feeding alligators is illegal. Those who feed an alligator face a second-degree misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $500 and possible jail time.