Woman poses with 14-foot-long alligator for college graduation photos

Frederick Owens
August 9, 2018

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.

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.

Gator Country is the largest alligator adventure park and sanctuary in Southeast Texas, housing over 450 American alligators, crocodiles and other reptiles.

Apparently, Noland is set to graduate from Texas A&M University with a degree in wildlife ecology. One photo has her giving the camera a thumbs up.

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Every graduate wants that memorable graduation photo.

Handling Tex is part of Noland's job description at the 15-acre center, which rescues "nuisance animals", those who have wandered into people's ponds or backyards, have been stranded after natural disasters, or otherwise don't possess natural hunting skills to survive in the wild. "Every single time I get in the water with him, I realise how huge he is".

'It's just like how your dog would treat you if you treat him well'. "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". But very few could be as unforgettable as Makenzie Noland standing knee deep in water - with a giant alligator.

The US college student posted pictures of her petting the reptile while dressed in cap and gown on Facebook last week with an understated caption that didn't quite capture its viral potential. In March, Melody Kliebert posted a gender-reveal video, which showed an alligator biting into a watermelon to show a blue colour and, with that, the news that she was expecting a boy. I'm doing things supervised.

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