HEFEI, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- More than 13,000 Chinese alligators have been moved into hothouses for hibernation in eastern China's Anhui Province.
"The alligators will be placed in 38 hothouses according to their size and health condition," said a worker at Anhui Yangtze Alligator Reserve in the city of Xuancheng.
Wild Chinese alligators often hibernate in caves in winter, while alligators bred in captivity stay inside.
The room temperature will be kept between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius, with workers disinfecting the hothouses.
Anhui Yangtze Alligator Reserve is the only artificial breeding base for Chinese alligators worldwide. It has 13,000 captive alligators.
To increase the number of wild alligators, the reserve has been releasing batches of the reptiles in their natural habitat since 2003.
They have generally adapted well and have begun to reproduce.
China listed the Chinese alligator as a first-class protected animal in 1972. There are about 130 to 150 in the wild.