In parts of the USA, there is a fascinating natural spectacle in extremely cold winters: alligators freeze in the swamps and ponds. What initially looks hostile to life turns out to be a clever survival strategy
The wintertime sometimes brings with it rare weather phenomena and natural spectacles.
In parts of the USA, the icy winters in recent years have regularly resulted in very special images: the sharp-toothed mouths of alligators protrude from the frozen surface of the water and offer a bizarre sight.
In 2018 and 2019, for example, the alligators froze in the swamps of the Shallotte River Swamp Park in North Carolina.
This winter, American media reported frozen alligators in lakes in Oklahoma. Mississippi alligatorsinstinctively sense when a body of water freezes over.
The animals seem lifeless in the ice. The bodies can be seen outlined under the icy surface of the water, only the snouts sticking out of the ice. What at first looks like an involuntary shock freeze, on closer inspection, is a clever survival trick.
The reptiles are neither accidentally frozen nor are they dead. Instead, the Mississippi alligators, which live in the southeastern United States, are deliberately frozen in order to be able to survive extreme cold spells.
Alligatormississippiensisinstinctively knows when its native water is freezing over.
However, since frozen water is an absolute death trap for him, the alligator enters the water at the right moment and sticks its nose out before freezing – so that it can continue to breathe despite the ice cover.
Then the animal falls into a state that is biologically known as “dormancy” and is similar to hibernation in warm-blooded animals. The metabolism is shut down, body functions are reduced to a minimum, and energy is saved.
In this position, the Mississippi alligatorsare able to survive for up to two or even three months in spite of the extreme cold. They just wait for the temperature to rise again and the ice to melt. Then the reptiles adjust their body temperature and wake up from the rigor.
The animals spend milder winters comfortably buried in the bank mud or in deeper layers of water.
Live transport: the Elbeik vessel is on the move but with no clear direction
Animals onboard the vessels, after nearly three months, are still waiting to be checked by a vet, rested and relieved from their suffering.
Back in December 2020 the Elbeik left Spain to reach Tripoli, (Libya) where the bovines were rejected due to bluetongue disease suspects. It moved around the Meditterean and some animals were offloaded.
After being stationed there for some time, the Elbeik left Famagusta (Northern Cyprus) heading to Cartagena.
Nearly three months after their journey started, the animals on board were supposed to go back to Spain to be killed, similarly to what is happening to the ones onboard the Karim Allah, expected to be killed in the next couple of days.
Yesterday Elbeik stopped near Kaloi Limenes (Crete). Eurogroup for Animals and its members are following the situation closely: Compassion In World Farming is in contact with the Greek Ministry, hoping to get veterinarian authorities on board, if the vessel docks at the port, and check the animals’ condition.
The stop in Greece was meant to provide more food and straw for the animals, however, according to our member Animal Welfare Foundation, the vessel’s Master is also trying to delay the return to Cartagena, in order to find another buyer and transport the bovines to a third country.
This, regardless of the animal welfare status which is very likely to have been seriously compromised. Indeed, Animal Welfare Foundation got confirmation that there are already more than 50 dead animals on board.
We just released a new investigation into Harris Beef, the slaughterhouse used by Harris Ranch, which is the largest cow feedlot on the West Coast. Harris claims their slaughter facilities were designed to be humane with curving chutes so the cows can’t see the danger ahead. But DxE’s hidden camera footage is showing the world the truth: terrified cows trying to escape from the slaughter line before they are systematically killed and butchered.
And the cruelty is growing. The Harris slaughterhouse is currently constructing several new buildings to expand its operations and increase its death toll. This is why we need a moratorium on factory farms and slaughterhouses right away.
DxE launched the No More Factory Farms campaign to combat the expansion of animal agriculture in California. We’re exposing the biggest animal abusers, mobilizing people throughout the state to take bold action, and creating the momentum for a moratorium that prohibits the construction or expansion of factory farms and slaughterhouses – first in California and then beyond.
DxE is funded entirely by people like you. And for the next 48 hours, all new $20+ monthly donors will receive a No More Factory Farms shirt as a thank you gift. Show your support for this campaign by becoming a monthly donor today.
In a win for dogs suffering in S. Korea’s brutal meat trade, Nakwon Auction House — the largest known dog meat auction in the country — is CLOSED FOR GOOD.
The closure follows Lady Freethinker’s undercover investigation and petition — covered by People Magazine — and local campaigning by partners Save Korean Dogs.
This victory is only possible because of YOU. Thank you for speaking out to save these dogs from slaughter, and supporting LFT’s fight against the cruel dog meat trade.
Hundreds of dogs will no longer spend their days in tiny, filthy wire cages in this house of horrors while waiting, terrified, to be sold to dog butchers.
We thank the more than 46,000 supporters who signed LFT’s petition demanding this horrifying, illegal auction be put out of business!
Undercover video released by LFT captured more than 200 terrified dogs in cramped wire cages at the Nakwon Auction House in S. Korea in Oct. 2020.
The footage sparkedpublic outrage, a call to demolish the auction house, and evidence the local government needed to shut down the illegal sales.
The city of Namyangju announced recently that the auction house is closed, the dogs are removed, and the owner was fined heavily and warned by authorities to stop his operations or risk more fines.
This is an important victory, and we couldn’t have done it without your support! But our work is far from over. Dogs continue to die every day for the horrific dog meat trade — and we won’t stop until every dog is safe.