Gator grad: Aggie takes graduation photos with 14-foot alligator

The 21-year-old student took her

The 21-year-old student took her

The graduation photos of Makenzie Noland include a real live alligator.

The wildlife ecology student at Texas A&M University had been interning at an alligator rescue centre in Beaumont, Texas, and was inspired to take the photo after developing a connection with one of the park's main attractions - "Big Tex".

"He's one of my best friends here", Noland said of Big Tex, the sanctuary's almost 14-foot-long gator that weighs 1,000 pounds.

'It took him a few weeks for him to like me.

"It's just like how your dog would treat you if you treat him well", Noland told The Eagle.

Yes, we're talking about the huge Texas alligator, and his name is Big Tex.

Reactions to the photos - both positive and negative - have inspired Noland to continue her mission to educate the public.

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In one photo, the daring undergraduate is shown putting her graduating class ring on the giant reptile's nose.

The rescue centre is owned by Arlie Hammonds and Gary Saurage and claims to be the largest alligator sanctuary in south-east Texas, home to more than 450 alligators, crocodiles and other reptiles.

The aspiring zookeeper graduates next week and is already looking forward to the next opportunity to visit Big Tex.

Talking to Fox News, the female student, who has been training with the animal said she wasn't scared at all.

Her graduation snaps (!) were taken by Gator Rescue boss Arlie Hammons, who waded into Tex's pool to get the ideal shot. The video has had more than 10m views on Facebook since it was first posted.

"Thank you to everyone who has shared my posts and given me all of this support", Noland wrote on Facebook.

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