‘Don’t Mess With Nana:’ Texas Mayor Kills Gigantic Gator To Avenge Minature Horse's Death
Three years ago, Livingston, Texas, mayor and great-grandmother Judy Cochran's miniature horse vanished—but she's pretty sure she killed the gator that was responsible earlier this week.
Judy Cochran already led a pretty impressive life prior to just a few days ago: Elected mayor of a small Texas town called Livingston back in May, she also became a great-grandmother earlier this month, according to reports. But on Monday, Cochran added “gator slayer” to her resume after bagging a 12-foot, 580-pound behemoth with just one shot.
Cochran said that she and her relatives had been looking out for this particular alligator following the death one of her ranch’s animal residents.
"We think this is the gator that ate one of our miniature horses several years ago, as big as this gator was, he could've easily eaten it," she told the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday. "Typically the gators don't bother us, but we've been looking for [this one]."
Once she suspected that, the hunt was on. But, being mayor and all, Cochran had to play by the rules—and there are strict rules in Polk County when it comes to hunting alligators. It’s one of 12 counties in the state with a dedicated alligator hunting season, in this case a 20-day window in September, according to USA Today.
Furthermore, hunters are mandated to first catch alligators on a hook before shooting them.
So that’s just what a law-abiding but gator-hungry citizen like Cochran said she did.
Cochran said her her son-in-law lured the large alligator out of a pond with a raccoon carcass on Monday, according to KDFW-TV in Dallas Fort-Worth.
When she got the call that an alligator was on the hook, Cochran was in a mayoral meeting. But as soon as the meeting adjourned, she grabbed her Winchester .22 Magnum.
"Don't mess with Nana," she told Dallas News.
Cochran told USA Today that she took the animal’s body to a taxidermist right after killing it, and emphasized that the huge reptile didn’t die in vain: She plans on eating its meat and using its skin to make a pair of (undoubtedly awesome) boots.
Great-grandma Cochran is apparently part of a whole familial clan of alligator hunters. Her 5-year-old grandson shot an 800-pound, 12-foot-6-inches gator on the very same property in 2009, the Chronicle reported at the time.