Alligators frozen in US swamp after cold snap

Visitors to a North Carolina swamp have been struck by a strange sight - frozen alligators.

A cold snap in the US has caused temperatures to drop below freezing. Fortunately for the reptiles at The Swamp Park environmental centre, they have a smart way to stay alive.

Footage shows the alligators' snouts apparently frozen in place above the ice.

"All our alligators are in ice here," park manager George Howard says in a video.

"Eighteen American alligators are thinking ahead, as they poke their noses through the ice."

The park says the response to the cold temperatures is called brumation.

"This is where a reptile's metabolism slows down dramatically and will go into a lethargic state," it says on its website.

The alligators will stay at the bottom of the water and poke their nose above the water to breathe.

"It was the craziest thing I'd ever seen," Mr Howard told The Washington Post this week.

"I was just astounded. Initially I was [worried], and then I realized what they were doing and that it was the only way they could breathe. And I thought, how intelligent is that?"

Mr Howard told The Charlotte Observer they survive the cold without any injuries.


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