Texas student includes 14-foot long gator in graduation photos

Cheryl Sanders
August 9, 2018

But one soon-to-be Texas A&M alumna's graduation pictures are giving 'see you later alligator, ' a whole new meaning.

A student went viral after posing for graduation photos with her "best friend" - an enormous alligator.

On Instagram and Facebook Aug. 3, Makenzie Noland posted photos of herself donning her cap and gown with a large alligator.

Makenzie says she wants to carry on working with animals after graduation Pic Arlie Hammonds  Beaumont rescue centre
Image Makenzie says she wants to carry on working with animals after graduation Pic Arlie Hammonds Beaumont rescue centre

Noland has been living at Gator Country for the past three months as she interns with the Beaumont rescue center, which is home to about 450 alligators, crocodiles, and other reptiles.

She is friends with the carnivore too, saying: 'I have a good relationship with Big Tex. 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. "He's a real-life dinosaur", Noland said, adding that she was honored to get the opportunity to work with him.

"I wanted to highlight what I have been doing at my internship with Gator Country by taking those pictures with Tex", the Abilene, Texas resident told WFAA-Ch.


"In all reality we don't want to bring these animals back, we want them to live in the bayous and canals out in the swampy areas", she said.

In fact, Big Tex has actually always been a friendly gator, she said.

And it has been the flawless place for Mackenzie who said she has always been "picking up snakes and holding animals" from an early age. As for the gator, that fella is Big Tex and he's nearly 14 feet-long.


"Tex is the one who let me into his pond". "Every single time I get in the water with him, I realise how huge he is". "Before we catch the alligator, it does its "death roll" which is a defense mechanism that tires them out", she says.


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