Texas A&M University Graduate Takes Grad Photo With Her Alligator Friend

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Texas A&M University Graduate Takes Grad Photo With Her Alligator Friend

Makenzie Noland earned a degree in wildlife ecology and hopes to work at a zoo.

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A student at Texas A&M University just graduated with a degree in wildlife ecology, and for one of her graduation photos, she posed with a 14-foot alligator named Big Tex. 


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Not your typical graduation picture 🤷🏽‍♀️ @ Gator Country

Posted by Makenzie Alexis Noland on Friday, August 3, 2018

Makenzie Noland interned at Gator Country in Beaumont, TX and decided she wanted a photograph celebrating her graduation with the biggest resident reptile at the sanctuary. So she waded into the reptile’s pond and got some photos.


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“I worked with this alligator every day, and I figured, ‘Why not wear a dress this time and celebrate my graduation with this incredible animal?’” she told Fox 13. Noland has been teaching visitors to the sanctuary about alligators and considers Big Tex to be one of her best friends at the sanctuary. She has been working with Big Tex since May, and now enters the pond to feed him, tickle his nose and give him kisses, according to KTXS12.

There is a lot of feedback on her Facebook page regarding the photos that she posted, both positive and negative. Her images have generated more than 1,200 comments, 6,000+ shares and 2,000 interactions. She appears to be taking it all in stride. Noland is hoping to get a job either at the Fort Worth Zoo or the Dallas Zoo. 

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