Her photo with the giant reptile was taken at Gator Country in Beaumont, Texas, a park dedicated to capturing and rescuing nuisance alligators and other reptiles where she had interned since the beginning of summer. I can kiss him on the snout.
Big Tex, the co-star of Noland's graduation photos, is a feeding-habituated alligator. "It is definitely pretty intimidating when you are standing next to an alligator who has a mouth full of 80 sharp teeth that can slam down with nearly 3,000 pounds [of pressure] per square inch".
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Noland will graduate from A&M with a major in wildlife ecology. He will rise out of the water if she gives him the command 'Up, up, up'. Oh, and balancing her class ring on his nose.
We got hold of Makenzie, who said now that Big Tex is used to her, he's just a big ole puppy dog.
Her graduation snaps (!) were taken by Gator Rescue boss Arlie Hammons, who waded into Tex's pool to get the flawless shot.
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Makenzie learned Big Tex's favorite tricks and he warmed up to her, but she said all the gators have different personalities - and some are not definitely not as friendly. "When I'm telling Tex to "come here" using a hand motion I will reward him, tickle his nose and toss food in his mouth".
They were taken by Noland's boss Arlie Hammond, who keeps a close eye on the pair when they interact.
The student shared the image on Facebook and Instagram with the caption "not your typical graduation photo", and found herself at the centre of the internet's attention.
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