Berlin WW2 bombing survivor Saturn the alligator dies in Moscow Zoo

Moscow Zoo favorite Saturn the alligator has died at the age of 84

Pic: Moscow Zoo An alligator believed to have once belonged to Adolf Hitler has died in Moscow Zoo.

"Yesterday morning, our MS alligator Saturn died of old age".

Saturn is actually said to have survived a bombing at the Berlin Zoo back in 1943 - where he had been living after being shipped there from America in the mid-'30s - and somehow lived among the ruins until he was found again in 1946.

As for the rumours that he was owned by Hitler, it's not clear where that rumour found legs, but Moscow Zoo has always refuted those reports, stating that animals "do not belong to politics" and "mustn't be held responsible for human sins".

It's not easy to say, but it's thought that Saturn the MS alligator, who was incorrectly rumoured to have belonged to Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler at one stage, was the oldest alligator in the world.

"Saturn had a long and varied life", the zoo said in a statement.

Hitler was portrayed as an animal lover in Nazi propaganda, which often featured his beloved German Shepherd Blondi.

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The Zoo representatives also said that Saturn had seen many of them since they were children.

American alligators typically only live until 50, National Geographic notes, and only one other - Muja, who is at Belgrade Zoo in Serbia - is known to have reached his 80s, according to Oldest.org. So, since 1946, the alligator has been housed in the Moscow Zoo and has become one of the most visited animals in the zoo for the last 74 years.

"For us Saturn was an entire era, and that's without the slightest exaggeration ..."

Saturn's death-defying escape in 1943 is unlikely ever to be explained.

MS alligators usually live to 30-50 years in the wild, it added.

Berlin, the capital of Nazi Germany, was subjected to intense Allied bombing earlier than the battle ended in 1945.

The zoo's aquarium building took a direct hit.

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