UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — What’s a gator to do when uncommonly cold temperatures freeze over its pond?
Video footage and images captured at the Shallotte River Swamp Park in North Carolina show American alligators coping with last week’s cold snap that hit the East Coast.
Temperatures dropped low enough to freeze surface water just east of Charlotte.
The park there is home to about a dozen alligators, all of which have been rescued and lived previously in captivity.
Experts from the park say alligators — which are cold-blooded — can live in water as cold as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
They go into a lethargic state at the bottom of a body of water if it is too cold and can hold their breath up to one day.
In the video, the water around the alligators is mostly iced-over. When they need to breathe, the reptiles simply stick their snouts up out of the water.