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Texas Student Posts Snappy Graduation Picture With 14ft Alligator

Texas Student Posts Snappy Graduation Picture With 14ft Alligator

- It took an entire summer to gain the trust of the biggest gator at a wildlife rescue, and one college student made a decision to celebrate her graduation with the reptile.

The soon-to-be Texas A&M University grad has been living at Gator Country for the past three months as she interns with the organization. Noland is an old hand with alligators who is about to receive her degree in wildlife ecology.

"It took him a few weeks for him to like me", she said.

Noland said she is very careful around Big Tex, and her boss, Arlie Hammonds, keeps a close eye on the not-so-expected pair of friends.

And if she wants him to raise out of the water - just like in her "thumbs up" photo - all she has to say is, "Up, up, up".

Tex even let Noland balance her university ring on his snout as part of the unusual photoshoot.

"Not your typical graduation picture, " wrote Makenzie Alexis Noland in a post she shared via Facebook last Saturday, Aug. 4. To her surprise, the pictures went viral, garnering almost 5,000 shares over the course of just three days.

Every graduate wants that memorable graduation photo.

Although the gargantuan reptile looks intimidating, Noland said he's a gentle giant. "We'd rather leave them in their natural habitat".

The Gator Rescue centre in Beaumont, Texas, USA, is home to about 450 alligators, crocodiles and reptiles. "Starting from a young age I was always picking up snakes, holding animals, talking to kids and educating the public", she told BBC. "I wouldn't be doing any of this stuff if I thought I was in danger". "If the animals aren't working well, then we're getting out of the water and letting them be".

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