We don’t know why either
Makenzie Noland, a student at Texas A&M University decided that instead of having a typical graduation photo with her family, she was going to have it with an alligator. This might seem confusing at first, because it is. All we know is that Noland made friends with this particular gator called Big Tex. And “Big” is an understatement. At 13ft 8.5in (4.18 metres) long, Big Tex is the largest alligator at the rescue centre Gator Country in Beaumont, Texas.
Noland shared the pictures on Facebook and Instagram (missed opportunity by not sharing on snapchat) with the caption “not your typical graduation photo”, and soon ended up going viral on the internet.
Noland had been interning at Gator Country while majoring in ecology at university. She said that Big Tex was adopted by the centre a couple of years ago. According to her social media posts, she became friends with Big Tex after May when he first let her feed him.
“I get in the water with that animal every day,” she said, and noted how she always tickles his nose before feeding him. “Every single time I get in the water with him, I realise how huge he is. He’s a real-life dinosaur.” Which begs the question why is she tempting fate?
“I am overwhelmed with how viral my post has gotten,” she said on Tuesday, “and to see everyone from my hometown pushing me to move forward and supporting me is truly incredible”.
Having over 450 alligators and other reptiles, the rescue centre is the largest alligator sanctuary in south-east Texas. So unless you’re an intern or a professional working with alligators, we don’t suggest you try this.