South Florida airboat captain accused of illegally feeding alligator

Signs warning people against feeding wildlife are found throughout Naples, including signs to not feed alligators posted by the lake at Pelican Bay Community Park. In Southwest Florida, ignoring the warnings and feeding the animals can have dire consequences, like attacks from alligators that associate humans with food. David Ahntholz/Staff

Signs warning people against feeding wildlife are found throughout Naples, including signs to not feed alligators posted by the lake at Pelican Bay Community Park. In Southwest Florida, ignoring the warnings and feeding the animals can have dire consequences, like attacks from alligators that associate humans with food. David Ahntholz/Staff

FORT LAUDERDALE — A South Florida airboat captain has been fired after being charged with illegal alligator feeding.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says Robert Goss was caught on videotape tossing dog biscuits to alligators and turtles while leading an Everglades tour for Sawgrass Recreation Park.

Goss faces up to 60 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. Feeding alligators is illegal.

The conservation commission's Lt. Dave Bingham tells the Sun Sentinel that though Goss was feeding alligators, he was "still trying to do a good job" and warned passengers against doing the same thing.

A tourist's tip about the alligator feeding prompted the investigation. Sawgrass Recreation Park owner Rick Soverns says the company prohibits alligator feeding.

Soverns says Goss will get his job back if he's acquitted.

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