Alligators stick snouts through ice to survive freezing conditions, swamp park says

Katrina Barker
January 10, 2018

During the "bomb cyclone" that landed in eastern United States earlier last week, the alligators went into the water in the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach since it was warmer than the air.

If they need to breathe, the gators will slowly surface and poke their nostrils out of the water like can be seen in the video.

Experts say that alligators nearly instinctively know when the pond is about to freeze over.

Howard says the gators' form of hibernation is called brumation, which is when they lower their body temperatures and metabolism so they can survive.

Once it becomes warm and the ice melts, the creatures thermoregulate their body temperatures to their regular state.

"Just shows you how smart they are, and how fantastic it is to see them do this exact survival technique, no matter how horrific it looks to us humans", park owner Linda McMullan wrote on Facebook.

The 65-acre park and sanctuary has a dozen alligators, all of them "rescues" that were previously kept in captivity.

You don't have to wonder any longer thanks to the folks at the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Brunswick County.

"Obviously, that is not optimal, being frozen like that", he said.

Now you know. See ya later, alligator! But fortunately for them they have quite the tactic to survive the frozen waters. But that's no problem, according to the park's accompanying blog post. Most are found in the southeastern corner of the state. Experts said they believed the alligators may have been pets released by their former owners.

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