That's what Makenzie Noland did to commemorate her upcoming graduation from Texas A&M.
They don't call him big for nothing. As for the gator, he's known as "Big Tex" and he's nearly 14 feet long.
"It took him a few weeks for him to like me", she said. Noland said she has a very special bond with the animal after her time with Gator Country.
Reactions to the photos - both positive and negative - have inspired Noland to continue her mission to educate the public.
It's illegal to feed wild alligators and could result in a fine as high as $500, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.
In one photo, the daring undergraduate is shown putting her graduating class ring on the giant reptile's nose.
"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 explained. "He's a real-life dinosaur".
Trump's China Trade War Just Escalated by $16 Billion
Analysts still expect a less favorable overall trade balance for China in coming months given it's early days in the tariff brawl. The Trump administration already has a list of $200 billion more in tariffs against China that are under consideration.
The student shared the image on Facebook and Instagram with the caption "not your typical graduation photo", and found herself at the centre of the internet's attention. These are some of my favorite pictures that I've taken since being here!
Only in those, the graduates posed with guns.
Noland's picture wasn't almost as polarizing, but some people thought it was foolishly risky for her to risk life and limb for a graduation shot.
"I would never do anything to risk my own life".
Isn't that was Steve Irwin said? "Before we catch the alligator, it does its "death roll" which is a defense mechanism that tires them out", she says.
If somebody straps on a rifle and poses next to an alligator, we'll have our answer.