Alligators hibernate with snouts sticking out of icy water

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The recent wintry conditions that hit the South were a shock to the system for people and animals.

To survive the frigid cold, alligators at a Wilmington, North Carolina gator park went into hibernation in icy water.

Before their sleep, the reptiles stuck their snouts above the water line so they could breathe as ice formed around their noses.

The sight caught park employees by surprise.

“"I looked around and I was like hmmm what is that poking up out of the water, they almost look like cypress trees a little bit from afar. And then I realized as I saw some teeth that oh my gosh these guys are poking their heads up out of the water. And it made sense immediately why they were doing it," George Howard with Shallotte River Swamp Park, said.

Alligators lower their body temperature and metabolism under water to survive.

"It's interesting to see them poke their noses up and are able to breathe and be perfectly fine so they're doing this as a mechanism so that if it freezes over they can still breathe but just an absolute amazing survival technique," Howard said.