At the age of 69, “Snooty,” the world’s oldest-known manatee, has died. According to the South Florida Museum, the popular manatee died after a “tragic accident.”
On Sunday, the devastating news was released to followers of the South Florida Museum Facebook page:
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.
Shortly thereafter, a press release offered more details about what happened to the beloved manatee:
Snooty was found in an underwater area only used to access plumbing for the exhibit life support system. Early indications are that a panel that is kept bolted shut had somehow been dislodged and that Snooty was able to swim in. The other three manatees undergoing rehabilitation in Snooty’s habitat — Randall, Baca and Gale — are all fine.
The natural and cultural museum added:
Snooty’s habitat undergoes a daily visual inspection and there were no indications the previous day that there was anything amiss. The Aquarium will remain closed while Museum staff continues its investigation and staff who worked with him have an opportunity to grieve.
Snooty was born on July 21, 1948 at the Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company – he moved to Bradenton in 1949. In 1979 he became Manatee County’s official mascot.
Rest in peace Snooty.
Back to life! Watch an incredible video of a dog being saved by firefighters here.