A Texas woman says she shot and killed a 12-foot, 580-pound alligator at her ranch Monday and that she suspects the massive animal ate her miniature horse.
Even before she shot the alligator, Judy Cochran was having a memorable 2018, she told USA TODAY. In May, she became the mayor of Livingston, Texas, and earlier in September she became a great-grandmother.
Now, she's telling the story of her memorable hunt: She killed the gator with one shot, plans to eat the meat and hopes to display the gator's "humongous" head in her office.
She said she doesn't think of herself as a hunter, and she doesn't want to seem like she's bragging about the harvest. But she's been looking for this gator for some time.
A miniature horse of her's went missing about three years ago, and the animal's remains were never found.
"So we suspected a gator ... it would have to be a big gator,” she said.
Since then, multiple alligators have been found on her property, which includes several miles of riverfront. But it wasn't until Monday that an animal large enough was located.
There's a limited season for hunting alligators in Polk County, Texas — just 20 days in September, she said. The gator must be captured on a hook before it is shot, she said.
There was a baited hook on her property, and on Monday, she received a call: A gator was on the hook.
After she shot the animal it was immediately taken to a taxidermist, she said. She said the resources from the alligator are being put to good use: The hide is being made into boots and its meat will be eaten, she said.
The gator was found in the same pond where Cochran's then 5-year-old grandson shot a gator in 2009, according to the Houston Chronicle. That gator was even bigger: 800-pounds, 12-foot-6-inches, the Chronicle reported.