Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Student takes graduation photos with 14-foot alligator

Student takes graduation photos with 14-foot alligator

Noland's close bond with Tex influenced her decision to feature him in her graduation pictures.

A university student who posed for a photo shoot with a massive alligator named Big Tex to celebrate her graduation this week has been getting shocked responses from all over the world - and some unusually good press for her reptilian mate.

The soon-to-be Texas A&M University grad has been living at Gator Country for the past three months as she interns with the organization.

"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.

However, Noland, 21, says the alligator, whose name is Big Tex, has the personality of a "puppy", telling Yahoo Lifestyle that the 15-minute photo shoot, captured by her boss Arlie Hammonds, was routine.

"Every single time I get in the water with him I realize how huge of a creature he is".

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

Gator Country Rescue is a 15-acre preserve that is well-known for being a safe haven for alligators and several other reptiles. "He's a real-life dinosaur", Noland said, adding that she was honored to get the opportunity to work with him.

"Since I started here I've been working my way up trying to earn the trust of this big gator and today he let me feed him". And some are not definitely not as friendly as Big Tex.

She posted the graduation pictures on Facebook and they went viral. In another, she pets the gator's snout.

The photographer, Arlie Hammonds, is co-owner of Gator Country. The video has had more than 10m views on Facebook since it was first posted.

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