2017-07-24 00:30:48 UTC
Snooty, world's oldest living manatee, dies in Bradenton
Posted: Jul 23, 2017 1:55 PM EDT
MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Snooty, the oldest manatee in captivity and the most popular manatee in the Tampa Bay area, passed away Sunday morning after just turning 69 on Friday.
The South Florida Museum said Snooty's death was a heartbreaking accident.
In a press release sent out Sunday morning, officials with the museum said Snooty was found in an underwater area only used to access plumbing for the exhibit life support system. They said early indications are that an access panel door that is normally bolted shut had somehow been knocked loose and somehow Snooty was able to swim in.
The other three manatees currently undergoing rehab in Snooty's habitat are all fine.
According to the museum, Snooty's habitat undergoes a daily visual inspection and there were not indications the previous day that there was anything wrong.
The aquarium will remain closed while staff continue to investigate. They also want staff to have time to grieve.
Snooty was born on July 21, 1948 at the Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company. His birth was the first recorded manatee birth in human care.
The South Florida Museum is deeply saddened to share the news that our beloved Snooty has died. Snooty’s death was a heartbreaking accident and the circumstances are being investigated so we can be sure we know the full details of what happened. Our current rehab manatees - Randall, Gale and Baca - are all fine. We know that our community and Snooty fans around the world share our grief. We will keep you updated as memorial plans develop. Please share your treasured memories and love for Snooty in the comments.
Details at the link: http://www.southfloridamuseum.org/south-florida-museum-mou…/