Senior takes graduation photos with one of her ‘best friends’

Lamar Ellis
August 8, 2018

With graduation a highlight for many students, it makes sense to get fun and creative with graduation pictures.

Noland said she is nearly as proud of the photos as she is to be graduating with a degree in wildlife ecology on Friday.

Makenzie Nolan says she's grown close to Big Tex since she began her internship at Gator country, which is a gator rescue centre in Beaumont.

Tex is 14 feet long, or roughly 2½ times as tall as the 21-year-old Noland. Since its publication on Friday, Noland's post has more than 200 shares and it only keeps growing. She'll be graduating with a degree in wildlife ecology this week.

Yes, we're talking about the huge Texas alligator, and his name is Big Tex.

Her graduation snaps (!) were taken by Gator Rescue boss Arlie Hammons, who waded into Tex's pool to get the flawless shot.

"Tex is the one who let me into his pond".

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He lives at the Gator Country wildlife sanctuary in Beaumont, Texas.

In one photo, the daring undergraduate is shown putting her graduating class ring on the giant reptile's nose.

"I have a good relationship with Big Tex", she said. 8 in Dallas. "I have worked with him every day since I arrived and have a very special bond with that animal".

There is also video of her feeding big Tex and she appears to have trained him to come to her when beckoned and even "beg" for food. "He's a real life dinosaur", Noland said.

"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.

Noland's picture wasn't almost as polarizing, but some people thought it was foolishly unsafe for her to risk life and limb for a graduation shot.

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