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Płock. Marta the alligator will celebrate her 94th birthday. She is a real record holder

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The Płock zoo will soon have a birthday party. Marta the alligator will celebrate on May 18. He will be 94 years old. According to the zoo, it is the oldest animal living in zoos in Europe. On his birthday, he will munch on cake and get treats.

“Our senior Marta is turning 94. We cordially invite you to celebrate her birthday together. On May 18 at 11 a.m. we will once again sing 200 years to her,” the zoo in Płock announced on Wednesday, inviting everyone to a special party.

“Like every year, we will celebrate our senior's jubilee. There will be stories and interesting facts from Marta's life, as well as attractions for the youngest,” the facility assured. She also announced that the main point of the birthday celebrations will be the feeding of an alligator, and her guests will receive, traditionally, a cake in the shape of a crocodile.

She came from the USA and played in “Hydrozagadka”

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As the Płock zoo emphasized, Marta is the favorite of its employees and the city's inhabitants in general, and also “the oldest animal in European zoos.” Marta the alligator hatched in 1930 in the now defunct Reptile Jungle garden in Slidell, Louisiana (USA). She arrived at the zoo in Płock on August 19, 1960, together with the male Pedro, who unfortunately did not like her and eventually ended up in the zoo in Wrocław.

Both alligators were purchased by a Pole living permanently in the USA, Eng. Tadeusz Wągrowski in response to “Action Crocodile”. It involved sending books to the Argentinian Polish community from the inhabitants of Płock in exchange for animals to the local zoo.

Marta – as the Płock zoo reminds us – although she is single there, is also a celebrity, because in 1970 she became a movie star. She then played the role of Herman the crocodile in Andrzej Kondratiuk's cult comedy “Hydrozagadka”, a story about the mysterious disappearance of water in Warsaw, which the superhero As tries to explain.

The creators of “Hydrozagadka” were looking for a crocodile for several scenes, and the then director of the Płock zoo, Tadeusz Taworski, nominated a female Mississippi alligator living there as a candidate. The film was made, among others, over the Zegrze Reservoir, and while filming, a situation occurred in which it seemed that Marta would choose freedom. Fortunately – as the employees of the Płock zoo recall – everything ended well.

Currently, the terrarium where Marta lives is being modernized. The works started in March and are being carried out successively. Their scope will include, among others: renovation of the swimming pool and replacement of windows through which alligators can be viewed.

Alligators live on average 60 to 70 years

The Mississippi alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), also called the American alligator, belongs to the crocodilian order of reptiles. It reaches a length of 3 to 6 meters and a body weight of up to 300 kilograms. Under natural conditions, it inhabits the shores of rivers and lakes as well as swampy areas in the southeastern part of the USA.

Alligators live on average 60 to 70 years. Marta is therefore a real record holder – emphasize the employees of the Płock zoo.

The zoo in Płock, located on a high slope above the Vistula River, was established in 1951 and currently covers approximately 15 hectares. There are over 7.5 thousand animals living there, representing over 580 species, including many rare and endangered species. Since 2002, the Płock garden has been a member of the World Organization of Zoos.

The Płock Zoo has one of the largest teaching and research pavilions in Poland, which includes, among others: an exhibition of reptiles and amphibians, as well as the arrangement of a tropical forest with exotic plants and aquariums with fauna and flora of the seas and oceans of the entire globe.

Read also: The only one in Poland. Recently moved to the Warsaw Zoo

A pair of Malagasy herons have taken up residence at the zooWarsaw ZOO/Facebook

Main photo source: ZOO Płock/Facebook

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