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

The folks at Shallotte River Swamp Park used a series of Facebook posts to show the public how these reptiles survive the frosty conditions

However, a layer of ice had formed on top of the swamp in the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach last Friday, and stayed solid throughout the weekend.

The cold snap may be over in North Carolina but have you ever wondered how alligators breathe when ponds and lakes are frozen over?

The video shows several of the alligators sticking their noses through the icy cover of the water.

"I looked around and I was like 'hmmm what is that poking up out of the water?' They nearly look like cypress trees a little bit from afar. Pretty unbelievable. ... This is the time of year when they are just hanging out and waiting for it to get warm".

How have alligators dealt with the freezing temperatures that hit our area? The folks at Shallotte River Swamp Park used a series of Facebook posts to show the public how these reptiles survive the frosty conditions

George Howard, the park's general manager, said the alligators at the facility are using a form of hibernation called brumination to lower their body temperatures and metabolisms so they can keep warm enough to survive the cold conditions. The alligators then enter "a state of brumation, like hibernating".

"They seem to be doing fairly well", said an expert from the park who was watching the alligators poke their noses out of the frozen river.

With the brutally cold temperatures affecting a good portion of the country, many people and animals are struggling to stay warm; including alligators. "An alligator can hold its breath underwater for 1 to 24 hours". "To be honest with you, every single time we're just floored at just how unbelievable of a creature they are". But that's no problem, according to the park's accompanying blog post.