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A wild photo shoot: Posing with a 14-foot-long alligator

  • Published at 05:27 pm August 7th, 2018
Makenzie Alexis Noland
Noland celebrating her college graduation with a wild photo shoot Collected from Makenzie Alexis Noland's Facebook profile

The young wildlife ecologist believes the alligator has the personality of a puppy

A young woman named Makenzie Alexis Noland, from Texas, US, took photos with a 14-foot-long alligator to celebrate her college graduation, reports Yahoo Lifestyle.

Noland posted the unique photo story on her Instagram account on August 3.

The photos showed Noland standing next to an enormous alligator, and the caption read: “Not your typical graduation picture.” In the photos she was seen wearing her graduation cap. 


Not your typical graduation picture 🤷🏽‍♀️

A post shared by  Makenzie Noland (@kenziealexis) on

21-year-old Nolan majored in wildlife ecology from Texas A&M University, and will graduate on August 10. 

The alligator is called Big Tex which is sheltered at Gator Country, a Beaumont-based rescue center where Noland has interned at since May.

The photos set off hundreds of arguments over whether the shoot was risky or not.  However, Noland told the Yahoo Lifestyle that Big Tex has the personality of a “puppy.” 

“Over the past three weeks, I had gained Tex’s trust and felt comfortable in the water,” she said. 

The 15-minute photo shoot was captured by her boss Arlie Hammonds. 

Tex was rescued in 2016 from the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge in Liberty. Taking care of Tex is one of Nolan’s responsibilities at the Gator Country. The 15-acre- rescue center shelters reptiles that have wandered into people’s ponds or backyards and have been stranded after natural disasters.