MOSCOW –An alligator rumored to be Adolph Hitler’s pet during WWII, died at the Moscow Zoo at the age of 84.
In the wild, the normal life span for an alligator is 30 to 50 years so this alligator, named Saturn, was extra special.
Saturn was born in the wild somewhere in Mississippi in 1936 and was shipped to the Berlin Zoo from which he disappeared on November 23, 1943, in the aftermath of an Allied air bombing campaign on Berlin.
One bomb directly struck the zoo’s aquarium and, according to reports at the time, all of the alligators and crocodiles in captivity there were killed. But not Saturn who was orbiting somewhere around das Führer.
In fact, of the 16.000 animals once kept in the Berlin Zoo, it is estimated that fewer than 100 survived the war.
The zoo’s announcement of Saturn’s death states: “Even if, purely theoretically, he belonged to someone, animals are not involved in war and politics, it is absurd to blame them for human sins.”
Death may not end Saturn’s public career. It has been reported that his carcass will be preserved and placed on exhibition at Moscow’s Charles Darwin Museum of Biology.