An alligator that survived World War II bombings in Berlin and died in Moscow seven decades later has been immortalized in the Russian capital this month.
U.S.-born Saturn was moved to the Berlin Zoo in 1936, where he escaped a 1943 bombing raid and was brought to Moscow three years later. Saturn, who died of old age at 84 at the Moscow Zoo in May, was rumored to have been part of Adolf Hitler’s personal collection.
The State Darwin Museum in Moscow announced last Wednesday that its taxidermists have stuffed and put Saturn on display after six months of scrupulous taxidermy work.
“It’s a solemn moment; Saturn took its place of honor at the North American wildlife showcase,” the museum said.
The legendary reptile is displayed alongside fellow North American creatures like bison, racoons and porcupines.
“Each employee treats the newcomer with special reverence — no reptile in the museum has such a rich biography,” the Darwin Museum said of Saturn.
“He was, without exaggeration, a legend of the zoo and had seen a lot in his time,” it added.
The public can expect to witness Saturn in person after Jan. 15, 2021, when the Darwin Museum is expected to reopen after shutting its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.