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Alligator named Saturn, who was alleged to belong to Hitler dies at the Moscow Zoo at the age of 84

Alligator named Saturn who survived World War II in Berlin and falsely rumored he belonged to Adolf Hitler dies at Moscow Zoo at age 84

  • Saturn the alligator survived the Battle of Berlin and was taken to the Moscow Zoo
  • Saturn, 84, has died and survived the 75th anniversary of Hitler’s defeat
  • Russian writer Boris Akunin started a rumor that Saturn belonged to Hitler
  • However, there is no evidence that the alligator was the Nazi leader’s pet

An alligator who survived World War II in Berlin and falsely rumored to have been Adolf Hitler’s died at the Moscow Zoo at the age of 84.

The 84-year-old reptile was found in Berlin after World War II by British soldiers and transferred to the Red Army.

The alligator, called Saturn, was brought to the Soviet capital and has lived in the Moscow Zoo since 1946.

Known as a pre-war star attraction at the Berlin Zoo in Nazi Germany, the story also circulated that the reptile had been in Hitler’s personal pet collection, as suggested by the famous Russian writer Boris Akunin.

Pictured: Saturn the alligator in his enclosure at the Moscow Zoo in an undated photo

Pictured: Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler in an undated photo. A story by a Russian writer suggested that Saturn was one of the animals in Hitler's private collection

Pictured: Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler in an undated photo. A story by a Russian writer suggested that Saturn was one of the animals in Hitler's private collection

Pictured: Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler in an undated photo. A story by a Russian writer suggested that Saturn was one of the animals in Hitler’s private collection

“Almost immediately after the animal’s arrival [in Russia], the myth turned out that it was probably in Hitler’s collection and not in the Berlin Zoo, “reports Interfax news agency. Despite being a widespread rumor, there is no evidence to support the claim.

Dmitry Vasilyev, vet of a Moscow zoo, said there was no doubt that Hitler admired the alligator, who was a popular attraction at the Berlin zoo before the war.

Saturn lived until the 75th anniversary of Hitler’s defeat earlier this month.

The alligator was born wild in Mississippi in 1936 before being captured and shipped to the Berlin Zoo

There is mystery about Saturn’s whereabouts after Berlin was bombed from November 1943. It was eventually found by British soldiers three years later.

Pictured: Saturn the alligator in his enclosure at the Moscow Zoo in an undated photo

Pictured: Saturn the alligator in his enclosure at the Moscow Zoo in an undated photo

Pictured: Saturn the alligator in his enclosure at the Moscow Zoo in an undated photo

One theory is that he “hid in basements, dark corners and drains”, another one he had in the menagerie of an older Nazi.

In the early 1990s, Saturn witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union, and reports said he had “tears in his eyes” when tanks shot the nearby Russian parliament for “reminding him of the bombing of Berlin.”

Saturn was the longest resident of the Moscow Zoo and cheated on death several times. A piece of concrete fell from the alligator’s aquarium in the 1980s and narrowly missed it.

A cruel visitor threw a stone at his head – requiring months of medical care.

When a new aquarium was built, Saturn went on a hunger strike for four months in protest. He did the same in 2010 – for a year – but eventually started eating again.

A Moscow Zoo obituary said: “Saturn is an entire era for us. This is not the least exaggeration. He arrived after the victory (in the war) – and celebrated his 75th anniversary.

“It is a great happiness that we were all able to look into his eyes. He saw many of us as children. We hope we didn’t disappoint him. ‘

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