It was a literal "freak of nature" scenario and no alligators were harmed ... or consumed ... in the process.

El Paso is not known for exceptionally cold weather, (or alligators for that matter), but it can get chilly here.

I wasn't able to find any record of what you're about to read ever happening at the El Paso Zoo but it happened at San Jacinto Plaza once and it's pretty amazing.

El Paso doesn't get super cold, just super hot in summer and super freakin' windy in spring. Every now and then though, Mother Nature throws us a curve ball.

Case in point, January 11th, 1962. The temperature fell to -8 degrees. NEGATIVE 8. The lowest temp EVER recorded in El Paso. That's back when alligators lived in the fountain at San Jacinto Plaza, in the heart of downtown El Paso.

I don't have to tell you, 'gators don't like the cold.

ABC7 Sarasota
ABC7 Sarasota

When the fountain froze over, Ally got stuck in the ice with just the tip of his snout sticking out of the water. See a pic about halfway through this article.

Warmer water was pumped in which thawed the ice and freed Ally. Once unstuck, Ally sank to warmer water and, it seems, was none the worse for his adventure.

As crazy as it sounds, this can happen to alligators in the wild too.

Here's what happens; the alligators stick the tips of their snouts out of the water so they can breathe and then "fall into a state of hibernation known as brumation by lowering their body temperatures and metabolism."

Once they warm up enough, they "thermoregulate" their body temp back to normal

It happens in some zoos and, occasionally, in the wild as you can see in the video and read about here.

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