‘Hitler’s favourite alligator’ dies at Moscow Zoo aged 84

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A legendary alligator that survived World War II and was mentioned to have been Adolf Hitler’s favourite has lastly breathed his final in Moscow.

“Our Mississippi alligator Saturn has died of old age,” Moscow Zoo introduced on social media on Saturday.

The venerable reptile was believed to be aged round 84, which is a powerful feat, on condition that such creatures reside for under 30 to 50 years within the wild. Unlike his non-captive cousins, the Mississippi ’gator had fairly a memorable and eventful life.

Born within the United States in 1936, he was gifted to Berlin Zoo, to which Hitler was a frequent customer. Some historians declare Saturn was a part of his private assortment, whereas others argue he merely favored the alligator over the zoo’s different animals.

As for these alleged hyperlinks to the Nazi chief, the zoo has been fast to level out that, even when Saturn had belonged to Hitler, “animals have nothing to do with politics. It’s absurd to blame them for the sins of humans.”

In 1943, Berlin Zoo was hit by an airstrike, with one of many bombs destroying the aquarium. Two dozen crocodiles and alligators had been killed, however some managed to outlive and fled, with Saturn being amongst them.

“What it was doing for the next three years remains a mystery,” Moscow Zoo mentioned, however in 1946, the plucky creature was discovered by UK troops who’d been stationed within the German capital for the reason that Nazi capitulation a 12 months earlier.

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The British determined at hand the animal over to the Soviet Union and that is how Saturn arrived in Moscow, the place he would go on to spend the following 74 years. This was apparently a cheerful time for the reptile, because the zoo insisted its workers handled their particular visitor with the “utmost care and attention.” 

“Saturn represents a whole epoch for us – and that’s not an exaggeration. We’re happy that we had a chance to look him in the eye and just be around him. He saw most of us as children. We hope we didn’t disappoint him.” 

A particular exhibit devoted to the alligator is to be opened on the State Darwin Museum in Moscow.

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