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Nature & Environment

Alligator that survived WWII dies aged 84

By T.K. Randall
May 24, 2020 · Comment icon 4 comments

Saturn reached a ripe old age. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Rigelus
An aged alligator that was once rumored to belong to Adolf Hitler has passed away at a zoo in Moscow.
Named Saturn, the 84-year-old Mississippi alligator had long been a hit with keepers and visitors alike and was a particular fan of being massaged with a brush while being hosed down inside his enclosure.

Saturn was born in the US before being gifted to Berlin Zoo in 1936 where he remained until 1943 when Allied bombing raids on the city enabled him to escape.

For the next three years his whereabouts remained a total mystery, however in 1946 he was discovered again by British soldiers who later gave him to the Soviet Union.

He would end up as a resident of Moscow Zoo for the next 74 years.
"Yesterday morning, our Mississippi alligator Saturn died of old age," the zoo said in a statement. "He was about 84 years old - an extremely respectable age."

"For us Saturn was an entire era, and that's without the slightest exaggeration... He saw many of us when we were children. We hope that we did not disappoint him."

One rumor that has often circulated is that Saturn was once part of Adolf Hitler's private collection, however that has since turned out to be false.

"[Animals] do not belong to politics and mustn't be held responsible for human sins," the zoo stated.

Source: BBC News | Comments (4)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Cookie Monster 4 years ago
I can imagine Hitler in his mansion having important prisoners brought to him. He then decides if he likes or hates them. If he hates someone Hitler then feeds them to his alligator with maniacal laughing. Maybe this is where James Bond films get their narrative from for their henchmen.
Comment icon #2 Posted by OpenMindedSceptic 4 years ago
After a couple of months of lockdown, I'm finished with zoos. Can't imagine a wild animal. Locked up like that. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by Seti42 4 years ago
For me, it depends on the zoo. Some do great work in conservation, science, veterinary medicine, and education. Others...not so much. Also, some animals seem fine with comfortable captivity, others...Again, not so much.
Comment icon #4 Posted by OpenMindedSceptic 4 years ago
An alligator? I can't see it being happy. 

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