Texas student poses with trained gator for graduation

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Texas student poses with trained gator for graduation

She's been working with "Big Tex", a almost 14-foot alligator, all summer.

When it came to her graduation photographs Texas A&M University student Makenzie Noland wanted to make sure they really stood out.

Makenzie Noland developed a one-of-a-kind bond with a almost 14-foot long and 1,000-pound alligator during her summer internship at Gator Country Rescue in Beaumont, Texas.

She tells Yahoo! That Big Tex "has the personality of a puppy".

Noland, who graduates with a wildlife ecology degree this week told KTXS: 'It's something I'm super proud of.

But Noland didn't take her photos with Big Tex just for the fun of it.

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

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

It's illegal to feed wild alligators and could result in a fine as high as $500, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.

The place has 370 alligators, but she developed a special bond with one in particular.

The aspiring zookeeper graduates next week and is already looking forward to the next opportunity to visit Big Tex. "Over the past three weeks, I had gained Tex's trust and felt comfortable in the water", she says.

The photographer, Arlie Hammonds, is co-owner of Gator Country.

The alligator was caught at Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge in October 2016 because he had become "a little too friendly," according to a Facebook post from the refuge.

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.

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