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Makenzie is about to graduate, and she's now interning at Gator Country in Beaumont. Noland is an old hand with alligators who is about to receive her degree in wildlife ecology.

Over the past several months, Noland has been training with Tex - under the careful supervision of alligator experts.

Noland likens the gentle giant to a "puppy", as he often follows commands in order to get treats.

"I've been working with him to get to this point to be able to feed him by myself so it was intense", Noland wrote. So we call him out of the den and I tickle his nose and go 'Up, up, up, ' and then he raises all the way up on his front legs.

Noland wore her school colors, Texas A&M sash and graduation cap for the shoot, which took place in the middle of Big Tex's swamp.

"I worked with this alligator every day, and I figured, 'Why not wear a dress this time and celebrate my graduation with this incredible animal?'" she told Fox 13.

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"It took him a few weeks for him to like me", she said.

Since posting the photos to social media, Makenzie has gotten feedback from some people who love it - and some people who think it's insane.

Makenzie says she has been overwhelmed by the reaction to her posts, which have now been shared and liked hundreds of times.

Every graduate wants that memorable graduation photo. "We'd rather leave them in their natural habitat".

Gator Country is the largest alligator adventure park and sanctuary in Southeast Texas, housing over 450 American alligators, crocodiles and other reptiles. "Starting from a young age I was always picking up snakes, holding animals, talking to kids and educating the public", she told BBC.


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