Listen to Article
Like many animals, China's Yangtze alligators like to spend winters hibernating inside dark holes that they dig on the sides of the lakes they reside in. That however is not an option for the 8,000 residents of the nature reserve in Xuancheng City in the Southeast Province of Anhui, because their manmade lakes are built using cement.
Therefore every year around this time, brave park workers physically lift each of the terrifying reptiles and carry them indoors to warm rooms. As if that is not scary enough, before being delivered to their winter homes, they have to be cleaned and checked for injuries. In April, when the weather warms up, the trek is reversed and reptiles are hauled back to their outdoor pools. Yikes!
Indigenous to eastern China, the Yangtze or Chinese alligator is one of only two species of alligators left in the world. While it looks similar to the American alligator, it is a lot smaller. Most adults grow up to a maximum of 5 feet and weigh only about 80 pounds. In contrast, American alligators can get up to 13 feet long and weigh as much as 790 pounds! Another big difference? The Yangtze alligator is on the critically endangered list, which is why preserving the few that are left, is so crucial.
Resources: GNC Global News Channel