Texas A&M Student’s Graduation Photo With 1,000-Pound Alligator Goes Viral, She Calls Him A ‘Puppy’
What’s your college graduation photo? A heartwarming image of you hugging your parents on the beloved day or throwing your graduation cap into the air? Well, it’s 2018 and those lame photos don’t cut it in a blurry sea of oversaturated social media posts. You apparently have to risk having your leg ripped off to have a popular graduation photo these days.
Makenzie Noland will graduate from Texas A&M soon and she decided to show off how smart she is by coming face-to-face with a gargantuan alligator. The 21-year-old soon-to-be-graduate waded knee-deep in murky, muddy pond water with a ginormous alligator named “Big Tex.” They call him Big Tex for a reason — this modern-day dinosaur is 14-feet-long and weighs 1,000 pounds. CRIKEY!
Big Tex resides at the Gator Country wildlife sanctuary in Beaumont, Texas, which is also where Mackenzie has been interning for the last three months. The extremely brave Mackenzie has been “playing” with Big Tex and the other 370 alligators at the sanctuary.
“Tex is the one who let me into his pond. He does pick favorites, and I’m honored he likes me enough to let me get in there and play with him every day,” Noland told Fox News.
Noland said Big Tex has the demeanor of a puppy and he will listen to commands for treats. “Whenever you’re training a puppy, you commend them for sitting down and give them a treat,” Noland explained. “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.” PUPPIES CAN’T EAT YOU IN ONE BITE. Aww! This deathtrap with teeth is just as playful as a snuggly Shiba Inu puppy.
“Every single time I get in the water with him I realize how huge of a creature he is,” Mackenzie said. “He’s a real-life dinosaur.” Mackenzie is getting a degree in wildlife ecology from Texas A&M. Thankfully, the gator didn’t cut her down in her prime forcing her to accept her diploma with her one “good hand.”
“I would never do anything to risk my own life. I’m doing things supervised. I’m trained,” she said. “Animals can react differently to different situations. We look at all that behavior. If the animals aren’t working well, then we’re getting out of the water and letting them be.”
Noland isn’t just interested in alligators, she also went to Tanzania for a safari with lions, elephants, and hippos.
She also plays with pythons.
While graduates in Texas and Ohio have guns and gators for edgy graduation photos, graduates of Rutgers in New Jersey have to settle on a graduation photo with a squirrel or a slice of pork roll.