Bringing new meaning to the phrase, “Don’t Mess with Texas,” a Texas grandmother shot and killed a 12-foot, 580-pound alligator she discovered at her ranch on Monday.
Don’t Mess With Texas
73-year-old Judy Cochran told USA Today it all started three years ago when a miniature horse went missing from her ranch in Goodrich, located about an hour northeast of Houston. The remains of the animal were never found.
Cochran said in a separate interview with the Washington Post that she immediately suspected an alligator had done the deed, since her property has several ponds and is near a river, so gators are frequently milling around.
But Polk County, where Cochran’s ranch is located, has strict rules for hunting alligators.
“There are a lot of requirements to kill a gator in Polk County,” Cochran told the Houston Chronicle. “We’re one of 12 counties that has a hunting season for alligators, between Sept. 10 and 30. You have to have a permit and tags from a wildlife biologist, and you have to catch it on a hook first. We don’t just go to the ranch and hunt a gator.”
The hook baited with a seasoned raccoon was set, and on Sunday night, handlers informed Cochran that a gator was also on the hook.
Texas Grandmother Makes The Kill
Cochran made her way over to the ranch with her shotgun and promptly exacted revenge on the gator she suspects ate her miniature horse.
“That’s a monster,” Cochran’s son-in-law, Scott Hughes, says in over a video he posted to Facebook as he films Cochran aiming the gun. “Nana, you better hit him good, because that’s that horse-eater. Get him right behind the brain.”
Cochran made the kill with her shotgun; she told the Chronicle she also has big plans for the gator.
“Moye Taxidermy will be processing it, we’ll eat the meat, have the head mounted and have the ridgeback part of the tail in my office. We’ll have the hide tanned to make some boots out of it, you can only make boots from the belly,” she said, adding in the Post that, “None of him will go to waste.”
It’s been a big year for Cochran and her family: she was elected mayor of Livingston, Texas in May, and she also became a great-grandmother in September. In addition to that, she’s a Rotary Club member. She also sits on the board at a bank and two hospitals
All of her considerable responsibilities have “kind of had to wait while I’ve been taking care of this celebrity stuff,” she said of the attention she’s received since making the kill.