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No, alligators aren't frozen. They're just brumating

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Lately it's been freezing in places that don't normally freeze.

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GEORGE HOWARD: It's probably about 22 degrees out right now.

SHAPIRO: Including The Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., home to several rescue alligators. This is a video shot by general manager George Howard.

JUANA SUMMERS, HOST:

The pond where the alligators live froze. And the alligators? Well, they did too, kind of.

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HOWARD: They are in full brumation right now.

SHAPIRO: Brumation - think of it like hibernating but for reptiles.

SUMMERS: And in the video, you can see the alligators suspended in the frozen pond with everything under ice except the tip of their snouts.

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HOWARD: You can see just the nostrils.

SUMMERS: So they can breathe.

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HOWARD: A really fantastic way for them to be able to survive.

SHAPIRO: And it didn't just happen in North Carolina. Eddie Hanhart shot a video of the same phenomenon at Gator Country Adventure Park in Beaumont, Texas, last week - alligators seemingly stuck in ice.

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EDDIE HANHART: He is not dead. He is fully alive. He has his heart rate down to three beats per minute right now.

SUMMERS: Three beats per minute - but don't worry, it's just temporary.

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HANHART: And whenever it gets to that ice will thaw out, he'll get up on the bank, start soaking in all those nice hot sun rays and be able to warm up.

SHAPIRO: The Swamp Park in North Carolina posted a photo just yesterday of their alligators fully thawed out and out of brumation.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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