Snooty, the loveable manatee that inhabits the South Florida Museum, just celebrated his 66th birthday on Saturday. That makes him the world’s oldest manatee to be in human captivity.
Hundreds of people gathered at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton to celebrate Snooty’s birthday. The townspeople love him, and everyone was thrilled to be partying it up with the sea cow. Many of the birthday wishers have been coming to visit the manatee for decades.
Marie Walker, for instance, said she has been coming to see Snooty for around 46 years.
“His tank wasn’t so pretty then,” Walker said. “It was really nice to bring our kids here,” she said. She then explained that one of her daughters became a marine biologist, and Snooty was probably an influence in her decision.
Another museum visitor, young Ashley DeJarette, was also excited about seeing the iconic manatee. She clutched a stuffed one as she waited for a chance to see Snooty.
“We are down here every year for his birthday,” Ashley’s mother, Julie DeJarette, said. ” I think she’s been coming to see Snooty since she was born.”
Museum spokesperson Jessica Schulbick explained how Snooty is setting new bars for how old manatees can grow without natural and man-made threats. She also noted that the sea cow is teaching researchers a lot about manatees.
Manatee care specialist Colin Ott said that Snooty has taught him a lot, and that he enjoys working with the animal.
“He’s the ambassador for all other manatees,” Ott said. “We are able to learn things about manatee through Snooty.”
To see what a day in the life of Snooty the manatee is like, check out the Snooty Cam on South Florida Museum’s website.