Saturn, the 84-year-old alligator who died on Friday, had quite a life.
- Emigrated from the United States to Europe? Check.
- Escaped a Berlin Zoo during an air raid in 1943? Check.
- Lived life on the run during the Battle of Berlin? Check.
But since his death in a Moscow Zoo, the rumour mill has been churning. And many claim the reptile once belonged to Adolf Hitler.
Here’s how it came about.
Saturn was born in the United States but later moved to Germany, Moscow Zoo said.
Вчера утром наш миссисипский аллигатор Сатурн умер от старости. Ему было около 84 лет – крайне почтенный возраст. Московскому зоопарку выпала честь содержать Сатурна 74 года. Он видел многих из нас детьми. Надеемся, что мы его не разочаровали. pic.twitter.com/UigsB8xwBv
— Московский Зоопарк (@moscowzoo) May 23, 2020
He wasn’t there long – escaping captivity at Berlin Zoo after an Allied bombing raid in 1943.
Saturn lived at large for years – surviving the Battle of Berlin – until he was found by British soldiers in 1946 and gifted to the Soviet Union.
“Almost immediately, the myth was born that he was allegedly in the collection of Hitler and not in the Berlin Zoo,” the zoo said in a statement.
Is it true? Moscow Zoo can’t say.
But it noted, “animals are not involved in war and politics and it is absurd to blame them for human sins”.