Texas A&M student celebrates graduate with 'best friend' alligator

What’s your college graduation photo? A heartwarming image of you hugging your parents 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.  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. Noland said Big Tex has the demeanor of a puppy and he will listen to commands for treats.



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