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Texas great-grandmother shoots 12-foot gator as revenge for killing mini-horse

Judy B. Cochran, the mayor of Livingston, Texas, shot and killed the 580-pound gator at her ranch on Sunday night.

Granny got her gun — and the alligator that crossed her by eating her prized pony is history.

Judy B. Cochran, the mayor of Livingston, Texas, got her revenge on a 12-foot, 580-pound alligator she believes ate one of her miniature horses years ago when she killed it on Sunday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Livingston Mayor Judy Cochran poses with the 12-foot alligator she shot.
Livingston Mayor Judy Cochran poses with the 12-foot alligator she shot.via KPRC

"The gator was large enough it could have eaten the mini-horse and the other gators are much smaller," Cochran told NBC News. "The horse just came up missing and it was in the same pasture where the gator had been. To say for sure it's the same gator, I cant say for sure but I highly suspect."

The gator was caught after being hooked using raccoon roadkill as bait. Then, while the gator was roped and on the line, Cochran fired a single shot into the animal's head, killing it.

Cochran, who became a great-grandmother on Friday, said she met all the requirements for hunting the alligator and that the reptile is in season, as first reported by the Houston Chronicle, but an animal right's group compared the shooting of the gator to shooting fish in a barrel.

"We may not understand alligators the way we do animals we're more familiar with, but we know that they're expert navigators, clever hunters, and fiercely protective parents who, most importantly, feel the same fear and pain that we do. Shame on the mayor for her cruel, cowardly act," People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said in a statement to NBC News.

Mayor Judy Cochran takes aim at a gator.
Mayor Judy Cochran takes aim at a gator. via KPRC

Cochran said she's ignored the negative comments, adding that because of the gator's size, it had become aggressive and would have been a nuisance to another person had it been relocated.

"It’s a part of wildlife management ... it's not just willy-nilly we decide to go down and kill an gator for heck of it," she said.

Cochran said she comes from a family of hunters and that they will use all the parts of the animal.

"We’ll eat the meat, and if we don’t eat all of it, we’ll donate it. None of it goes to waste ... we'll have the hide tanned and have boots made out of it," Cochran said.

And although this gator was her first, it's not the first massive gator killed by her family.

Cochran said her grandson, Simon Hughes, killed an even bigger gator in the same pond in 2009 when he was just 5 years old.

Simon's gator was seven inches longer than the one his grandmother nabbed, but she said her grandchildren still think her kill is respectable.

"They say, 'Don't mess with nana,'" Cochran said.