The Slatest

Texas Grandmother and Town Mayor Kills Giant Alligator With Single Shot to Avenge Miniature Horse

The top of the head of an alligator is just visible above water
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The mayor of Livingston, Texas—a great-grandmother living in nearby Goodrich—finally took revenge on Sunday for a miniature horse killed several years ago and shot the 12-foot, 580-pound alligator she believed responsible.

Judy Cochran had apparently been on the lookout for this particular alligator for several years, keen to avenge one of her miniature horses. Her son-in-law was the one to actually lure the alligator to be trapped—with a seasoned raccoon held over a pond—according to KDFW-TV. While the animal was held on a hook at her ranch, she raced home from a meeting and, after being told by handlers that she had the go-ahead to dispatch her prey, killed it with a single shot from her Winchester .22 Magnum. “Don’t mess with Nana!” she told the press.

It’s unclear how she knew it was the same alligator that killed that miniature horse, but in speaking to the Houston Chronicle, she seemed confident. “As big as this gator was, he could’ve easily eaten it,” she said. “Typically the gators don’t bother us, but we’ve been looking for [this one].”

It’s possible the Cochran family has gator hunting in its blood: Nine years ago, Judy’s then-5-year-old grandson, Simon Hughes, participated in the record-breaking capture of an 800-pound, 12-foot-6-inch alligator. The gator was 20 times the first-grader’s size.

According to the Chronicle, Cochran lives in one of 12 counties in the state that allow alligator hunting, and that season lasts from Sept. 10 to 30. To make sure her constituents knew she was following the law, she reassured reporters that she had followed the requirements set by the county.

She told the Chronicle that she and her family would eat the alligator’s meat, have the head mounted, and place its tail in her office. “We’ll have the hide tanned to make some boots out of it; you can only make boots from the belly.”