85 years ago, on 9th August 1937, the oldest living American alligator in the world arrived at the Belgrade Zoo. His name is Muja.
International statistics confirmed Muja’s absolute world record for the longevity of alligators living in controlled conditions.
Muja arrived in Belgrade from a German zoo, together with several other animals. For a long time, efforts have been made to find out accurate information on how old Muja was then.
If the accuracy of the information in the daily press of the time is to be believed, on 10 August 1937, Belgrade’s “Vreme” announced that Muja had arrived at the Zoo the previous day as a two-year-old, although in the photo they published he looks much older. According to the estimates of the specialists, it is thought that he was already ten years old at that time.
The Belgrade Zoo was almost completely destroyed in 1941 and 1944 bombing. Almost all the animals died then. After that came decades of negligence under communist rule, then hyperinflation, crisis years with imminent danger of war, and even the bombing again in 1999. Muja survived all that.
In 2012, he got gangrene in his right front leg, which then had to be amputated. It is believed that Muja is about 95 years old now.