Alligator, rumoured to be Adolf Hitler’s pet, being preserved for posterity
It was reported that people were initially unsure about the whereabouts of the alligator after Berlin was bombed in November 1943
An alligator, rumoured to have been the pet of Adolf Hitler, pet has been preserved for posterity at Russia's Darwin Zoo after passing away this year at the Moscow Zoo.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the 84-year-old reptile was found by British soldiers in Berlin after the Second World War and was passed onto the Red Army. Christened Saturn, the alligator was taken to the Soviet capital in 1946 and became an icon of Moscow Zoo.
The reptile, known to have been a pre-war attract at the Berlin Zoo in Germany, is believed to have been in Hitler's personal pet collection, something that was suggested by famous Russian writer Boris Akunin. Saturn, who was born in the wild in Mississippi in 1936 was caught and shipped to Berlin Zoo and passed away in May.
The New York Post quoted Darwin Museum official Dmitry Miloserdov as saying that the installation of Saturn in the permanent exhibition is the culmination of six months of work by taxidermists. He added that no reptile of the museum has as rich a biography as Saturn, adding that the reptile was a legend of the zoo.
According to the report, Saturn's taxidermy display will be dubbed "The second birth of Saturn, the story of how 'Hitler’s alligator' became immortal".
The Daily Star reported that people were initially unsure about the whereabouts of Saturn, after Berlin was bombed in November 1943. The alligator was eventually found three years later by British soldiers and is believed to have survived by hiding in basements, dark corners and sewage drains before being rescued.
As per a Facebook post by Darwin Zoo, the alligator will be on display from 16 January onwards, if the pandemic allows for it.
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