Born in humble circumstances in 1936 in the state of Mississippi in the USA, Saturn the Alligator, was captured and sent that very same year to Berlin.
What happened next is the recipe for the urban legend that later embodied his personality in the Moscow Zoo.
In Berlin, Saturn was put on display in the zoo, and it is reported that Hitler loved the zoo, and specifically the alligators.
According to Saturn’s Wikipedia article, only 96 of the 16,000 animals in the Berlin Zoo survived the bombing at the end of the war. Saturn was eventually taken in by British troops who later gave him as a gift to the Soviet Union.
The details of how Saturn arrived in Moscow are unknown due to the fact that a tourism office in Moscow burnt down in the 1950’s. We also can only presume that these were difficult years for Saturn that he didn’t like to discuss, even in his later years.
Mississippi alligators generally only live into their forties, but Saturn apparently was living the dream at the Moscow Zoo, because he passed away on May 23, 2020 at the ripe old age of 84.
Here is a video of Saturn getting a bath.
TJ Journal quotes Moscow Zoo employees as saying “He saw many of us as children. We hope that we have not disappointed him.”
Saturn was preceded in death by his first wife, Shipka.