His full name is the American Alligator Muja. According to researchers, he travelled from his native Germany to Belgrade, Serbia and is believed to be the oldest living of his kind in captivity. In 1937, he was moved to Belgrade Zoo. A former newspaper clipping about his arrival at the zoo at the time said he was two years old which puts him in his early 80s now. From 1941 to 1944 during the World War II bombings his home was almost destroyed, and many other animals died after the Belgrade Zoo was subjected to repeated attacks. On the eve of the Second World War, Muja arrived at Belgrade Zoo. Still in good health with an enthusiastic appetite for his age!
Individuals of all age-groups in Belgrade and tourists went to visit Muja, who rarely moves around much. But his handlers said to Reuters that he is still agile at feeding time; when he munches on rats and quails. However, he misses the target sometimes when he snaps at his food. Srboljub Aleksic, Zoo director, said, “He is well ... and healthy, eats well and is in good form for his age, so we hope that he'll remain that way for many years.” The report further states that so far, Muja’s only health issue has been an infection due to which medics removed his front right claw in 2012.
Days went peacefully when Muja arrived at Belgrade until one morning on April 6, 1941, an earthquake and fire struck the Zoo at the same time. In the following days, most of the walls guarding the wild animals were destroyed. Many animals lost their lives, but Muja managed to escape unharmed.