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World's Oldest Alligator in Captivity 'Muja' Celebrates 85th Birthday

Muja. Credits: AFP.

Muja. Credits: AFP.

This veteran creature has managed to survive multiple bombings in Serbia and has now become a TikTok star.

Muja, who is the world’s oldest alligator in captivity has recently celebrated his 85th birthday. This veteran creature has managed to survive multiple bombings in Serbia and has now become a TikTok star. According to news agency Reuters, in August 1937, Muja came to Belgrade from Germany. While zookeepers are unsure of the precise hatch date, a vintage news item from 1937 indicates that he was nearly 2 years old at the time. When Saturn, the world’s oldest captive alligator, passed away in May at the Moscow Zoo, Muja officially became the world’s oldest captive alligator. An alligator has a life expectancy of 30 to 50 years, yet in his many years of existence, Muja hasn’t seen much beyond his small and basic 12 x 7 meter pool, he did escape World War II bombs that killed numerous animals in the zoo, as well as six zookeepers.

The gator came to Belgrade when it was the capital of the State of Yugoslavia, lived through the country’s communist era, and witnessed Yugoslavia’s tragic disintegration, which resulted in yet another NATO bombing campaign in 1999.

In the Serbian zoo, the alligator just commemorated his birthday. The vets claimed that the animal was at least 85 years old and indicated that the animal may even be older. Muja is extremely nimble for his age, which indicates that he is still in excellent health.

The only time veterinarians were alarmed about his health was in 2012, when a painful foot was discovered to have gangrene, his foot had to be removed to preserve his survival.

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The alligator’s diet consists of skinned rodents, rabbits, birds, horse meat, and beef, and he has lately garnered a lot of fame on TikTok as well. The alligator has several videos with over a million views.

Biologists had long assumed that alligators continue to develop throughout their lifetimes, but several investigations have thrown that belief into question. Some alligators had reached a stage where they were no longer growing during many studies. After analysing data from these studies over the years, researchers have discovered that many animals achieved their maximum size between the ages of 25 and 35.

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first published:June 22, 2021, 16:07 IST