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      Woman catches, kills 13 foot alligator

      Mary Ellen Mara-Christian caught and killed the gator in a swampy area in between Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion in Berkley County.

      She's five feet five inches tall, weighing in at 115 pounds. But she killed a 13 foot alligator, weighing in at 900 pounds Wednesday during South Carolina's alligator hunting season.

      Massachusetts resident Mary Ellen Mara-Christian caught and killed the gator in a swampy area in between Lake Moultrie and Lake Marion in Berkley County.

      Mary Ellen said when she came to South Carolina to hunt for alligators, she was hoping for a 10 foot one. She got more than she bargained for. It took a tractor to move the 13 foot 900 pound beast.

      Mary Ellen hooked him with her fishing pole and battled for two hours to get him near the boat. In South Carolina you have to secure the gator and get it to the boat before you're allowed to shoot it. "Your heart's just pumping and pumping," she said, "He was enormous. You could see this part him coming out of the water, his big belly, then you saw his head. His head had to come out for me to shoot him."

      They shot him 8 times, but he was still moving. So, she said, "We had to stab him a couple of times to break his spinal cord."

      The gator is now in at the 301 Deer Processing Plant in Florence County. The facility just processed an 11-foot 400-pound gator, caught in Lake Marion earlier this week.

      The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources issues a thousand permits for the season. The first gator season in the state was in 2008. It was started in order to curb the more than 500 nuisance complaints the state got each year.

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