Uncategorized

Frozen alligators seen in North Carolina swamp, video shows


Alligators living at The Swamp Park in North Carolina allowed themselves to be frozen in place when temperatures dropped to 17 degrees, the park reports.

Alligators living at The Swamp Park in North Carolina allowed themselves to be frozen in place when temperatures dropped to 17 degrees, the park reports.

Facebook video screengrab from The Swamp Park

Terrifying “gatorcicles” were found suspended in a North Carolina swamp when temperatures dropped into the teens, photos show.

The frozen alligators were recorded at The Swamp Park, a coastal tourist attraction that allows humans to spy on alligators in the wild. The alligator sanctuary is about 175 miles south of Raleigh, near Ocean Isle Beach.

“Their pond that they live in has frozen,” park manager George Howard noted in a Jan. 21 Facebook post.

“Thick enough for these guys to do what they do, which is stick their nose up out of the ice so that they can breathe, and suspend themselves in the water.”

The rarely witnessed adaptation allows alligators to survive cold snaps while frozen in place.

Passersby see only snouts and teeth – really big teeth – sticking out of the murky ice.

It’s considered an extreme form of brumation, the less-restrictive reptile version of winter hibernation, experts say. They wake up to drink water and bask in the sun on warm winter days.

A park staffer recorded himself visiting multiple “gatorcicles” in the swamp, and likened their protruding snouts could be likened to “a cute little danger snorkel.”
A park staffer recorded himself visiting multiple “gatorcicles” in the swamp, and likened their protruding snouts could be likened to “a cute little danger snorkel.” Video screengrab

North Carolina is the northernmost range of the American alligator, due to the extreme cold experienced in states farther north.

The 65-acre Swamp Park made international news in 2018 when it became one of the first sites in the world to document alligators had mysteriously found a way to adapt to sudden freezes. The alligators can stay frozen in place for days at a time, the park found.

Temperatures fell to 17 degrees in Ocean Isle Beach on the day the video was recorded, the park reported.

The park’s alligators seemed to instinctively know when the water was about to freeze. They positioned themselves at just the right moment, closed their eyes, and allowed the water to harden around them.

“They are fully aware. But very slow,” the park reported.

A park staffer recorded himself visiting multiple “gatorcicles” throughout the swamp, and likened their protruding snouts to “a cute little danger snorkel.”

The park’s videos had been viewed more than 50,000 times as of Jan. 22, and gotten hundreds of reactions.

“You would think those gators are dead,” Toddquesha Kenny wrote on Facebook.

“Five thousand dollars for anyone to walk on top of that ice. You have to walk over the top of that gator for the money,” Joseph Virtuoso Hawkins posted.

Multiple commenters also dared the park to “boop the snoot” of an alligator, just to see if it reacted.

One staffer recorded video of himself doing just that, but he didn’t linger to see if the gator opened its eyes.

“Don’t do this at home,” the staffer said in the video. “Never in my life did I think I’d do that.”

Mark Price is a National Reporter for McClatchy News. He joined the network of newspapers in 1991 at The Charlotte Observer, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button