Makenzie Alexis Noland has gone viral thanks to some unique graduation photos. The 21-year-old student at Texas A&M is studying Wildlife Ecology and received an internship at the adventure park and sanctuary Gator Country in Beaumont, Texas. She has been working as an intern since May and decided to take her bond with the animals to the next level.
That led to Noland posing with an alligator for her graduation photos (which you can see above) and getting the attention of the internet.
Noland, who is originally from Bellevue, Nebraska, is set to graduate this week from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. A quick scroll through her Instagram account shows that she was living her best life while interning at Gator Country.
Don’t worry, even the baby alligators got some love.
And it wasn’t just alligators that Noland encountered during her internship. There were pythons and other reptiles that she had no fear of encountering. I guess that is sort of required whenever you are studying Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, though.
Yes, Makenzie. Your internship is much cooler.
Makenzie also got an up close look at Big Tex, the largest alligator at Gator Country. The massive alligator is 13 feet, 8.5 inches long. While some say Big Tex can complain about who comes to feed him, he found a friend in Noland from the moment she began her internship. Now, she even treats the massive “dinosaur” as a dog.
“Whenever you’re training a puppy, you commend them for sitting down and give them a treat. When I’m telling Tex to ‘come here’ using a hand motion I will reward him, tickle his nose and toss food in his mouth,” she said in an interview with FOX News.
The future of our wildlife seems to be in good hands.