Makenzie Noland, 21, marked the end of her undergraduate career at Texas A&M University with a series of snaps showing her getting up close and personal with the creature. "He's one of my best friends here", she told Inside Edition. She'll be graduating with a degree in wildlife ecology this week. I can kiss him on the snout.
Tex - who is the largest live "nuisance" gator in captivity - was brought to the center in October 2016 after losing his fear of humans after people kept feeding him. Gator Country Adventure Park is the largest alligator adventure park/sanctuary in Southeast Texas, according to the website.
She didn't elaborate what kind of "play" one engages in with a giant gator.
"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".More news: Takeaways from day seven of the Paul Manafort trial
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"I have a good relationship with Big Tex", she said.
Noland has been overwhelmed by the reaction her pictures have got, with media outlets across the world covering the story.
Her graduation snaps (!) were taken by Gator Rescue boss Arlie Hammons, who waded into Tex's pool to get the ideal shot.
To mark her graduation this Friday, she posed in her cap and sash with the animal and thousands have since shared the Facebook post. "For anyone who criticizes my work or claims that I'm invading these animals' privacy, I'd encourage them to visit me at Gator Country", she says. The video has had more than 10m views on Facebook since it was first posted.