LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Alligators across the state are dealing with the recent cold temperatures a bit differently than we are as humans.
Alligators, which are cold-blooded reptiles, are more sensitive to changes in the temperature.
Dione Sabelhaus, the marketing director at Gator Chateau in Jennings says when it gets cold, the alligators’ bodily functions such as metabolism and heart rate, slow down, causing them to go into a type of hibernation.
“Whenever the cold comes in, they go into brumation, meaning they stay awake, they just don’t eat.”
Sabelhaus says that in order for alligators to survive the winter, they stop eating and start storing fat once they feel the cold weather.
“It’s almost like a coma,” she said. “I guess you can say, they don’t move fast. They can’t get up on all four of their legs. So they just really stay still until the warm weather starts coming back.”
If you are used to seeing alligators when you go fishing or while taking a stroll at the park, chances are spotting one will be a little difficult.
“The only time they move is to either come up and get air or something,” said Sabelhaus. “But they’ll go hide and what they do is submerge themselves in the mud and stay warm. They don’t move or anything.”
While we might not see any alligators until the warmer weather returns, we will have to get used to saying the phrase, “See you later alligator,” more literally.