Great Grandmother Kills Alligator in Revenge for Pet Pony's Disappearance

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Livingston Mayor Judy Cochran is no stranger to alligators. They live in the ponds on her Texas ranch, but one 12-foot, 580-pound gator was not welcome. 

"About three years ago, we came up missing a miniature horse. We highly suspect a gator got it," Cochran told

Cochran, who is a great grandmother, said she was concerned for the safety of her other pets and animals, so she decided to track the big gator down. 

"You can only hunt and kill a gator between Sept. 10 and Sept. 30, and you have to have a permit and a tag," Cochran said.

She recruited trapper Stephen Moye to help snag the large male alligator.

"I'm a nuisance trapper," Moye said. "In Texas, we have to catch it on a hook and line."

Moye tried an assortment of baits to entice the gator without success.

"We tried chicken, we tried pork liver, wild boar, we tried roadkill raccoon," he said.

A "well-seasoned raccoon" finally did the job. 

Once Moye had the gator hooked, he called the mayor.

"You just can't abandon your office, so I did those things, ran home, changed clothes," Cochran said.

And then, with one shot, she put an end to the problem gator. 

"This head is going in my office," she said.

Taking out big gators runs in Cochran's family. In 2009, her grandson, then 5 years old, shot an even bigger alligator measuring 12 feet, 7 inches long. He was a guest on the "The Today Show," and afterward the family took a picture with Lester Holt.

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