Massachusetts Woman Kills Giant 'Gator, Internet Weeps

From this story in the New York Daily News:
Internet commenters are outraged at the Massachusetts woman who became a news sensation after killing a 1,025-pound alligator in South Carolina this week. "This woman should be in jail, not on TV," one commenter writes on Carolinaliveive.com, a South Carolina news channel website. "This is trophy hunting at its worst," writes another on Cbsnews.com. Mary Ellen Mara-Christian, who stands five-feet-five-inches tall and weighs about 115 pounds, killed a 13-foot-6-inch alligator, estimated to be between 60-70 years old, during a hunting trip to South Carolina's Lake Moultrie, according to news reports.

_Associated Press reports it took two hours for Mara-Christian, her husband Mark and a local hunting guide to secure the alligator with rods and snares on the boat. They then shot it with a .22 caliber gun. But the 'gator proved hard to kill. To put the animal out, Mara-Christian severed its spinal cord with a knife. Internet commenters decried what they saw as Mara-Christian's senseless brutality. "They tortured that alligator for hours. That's just plain sick," a commenter writes on Bostonherald.com. Boston Herald reports Mara-Christian, a 48-year-old laid off bank marketing officer and experienced hunter, sees hunting as nature's way of keeping animal populations under control and healthy.

"I enjoy nature and animals a great deal and I understand why there is a reason for hunting," Mara-Christian told the Boston Herald. "I hunt because I want these creatures to be here forever." According to news reports, Mara-Christian plans to take the alligator to a taxidermist to have it stuffed for display in her home. Only about 40 pounds of the alligator's meat is edible. "I shot an incredible beast and it was the hunt of a lifetime," Mara-Christian added._

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