Texas Student Posts Snappy Graduation Picture With 14ft Alligator

Senior takes graduation photos with one of her ‘best friends’ — a giant Texas gator | The Wichita Eagle

Gator grad: Aggie takes graduation photos with 14-foot alligator

Big Tex, the co-star of Noland's graduation photos, is a feeding-habituated alligator.

But Noland didn't take her photos with Big Tex just for the fun of it.

Makenzie Alexis Noland was right when she said this is "not your typical graduation picture". During her internship, she developed a strong bond with this alligator named Tex, and to celebrate the occasion, she chose to take a few snaps with it who she dubbed as a "sweetheart", and 'best friend'.

Mackenzie Noland, 21, has been interning at a rescue centre as part of her degree in wildlife and fisheries sciences.

"Whenever you're training a puppy, you commend them for sitting down and give them a treat", Noland explained. But Noland tickles Tex's nose and tosses food into his mouth to reward him for good behavior.

"Every single time I get in the water with him I realize how huge of a creature he is".

"It took me about two to three weeks to build up that courage and walk in that water and have Tex be okay with me in there", she said.

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Why did she, um, want to snap photos with a gator? One photo has her giving the camera a thumbs up.

The graduation photos highlight Noland's work during her internship.

"Thank you to everyone who has shared my posts and given me all of this support", Noland wrote on Facebook.

It is described as an sanctuary for reptiles, according to its website. "We'd rather leave them in their natural habitat".

Big Tex holds the record for "Largest Live Captured Nuisance Alligator".

"I would never do anything to risk my own life. I'm trained", she said. I'm doing things supervised. We look at all that behavior.

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