A grandmother shot a gator dead at her Texas ranch on Sunday night, a single bullet to the head of revenge she says for the 12-foot, 580-pound beast that probably ate her miniature horse.
Judy B. Cochran, the mayor of Livingston, Texas, told NBC News the horse had turned up missing and she suspected the alligator was the culprit.
“The gator was large enough it could have eaten the mini-horse and the other gators are much smaller,” she said, adding that the reptile was in the same pasture where the horse had been. “To say for sure it's the same gator, I can’t say for sure but I highly suspect,” she said.
To catch the alligator, Cochran laid out raccoon roadkill as bait then hooked and roped it before firing a single shot into its head.
“Typically the gators don't bother us, but we've been looking for (this one),” she said, according to The Houston Chronicle.
The incident sparked backlash from animal welfare groups, which fiercely criticized Cochran for killing the alligator.
“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,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals told NBC News. “Shame on the mayor for her cruel, cowardly act.”
Cochran defended herself, saying the animal could have been a nuisance and threat to other community members.
“It’s a part of wildlife management ... it's not just willy-nilly we decide to go down and kill a gator for heck of it,” she said.
The Texas mayor noted she had followed all the requirements for hunting the alligator, as outlined by state law, NBC News noted.
According to Texas Park and Wildlife, when hunting alligators it’s required that a hook and line be secured on private property and that firearms, air guns, and arrow guns may be used to dispatch alligators legally captured on a taking device in any county.
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