Snooty the Manatee will celebrate his 65th birthday this week at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.
Snooty, who is the oldest manatee in captivity and possibly the oldest on the planet, enjoyed his 65th birthday by swimming in his aquarium and munching on some lettuce.
Brynne Anne Besio, executive director of the South Florida Museum, told CBS: “If you lived in a pool where people gave you a bath and fed you lettuce by hand and you had no other predators and the water was always a nice warm temperature, you’d be living long too… He’s protected, he’s safe, he has a great diet, he has regular medical care, and so he’s got all the odds for him in terms of living long.”
Robert Bonde, a research biologist for the United States Geological Survey in Gainesville, Florida, said that the oldest manatee carcass ever found in Florida was 53-years-old. The average life span of a manatee is about 13-years due to predators and environmental threats.
Snooty, of course, doesn’t have to deal with all of that. But the world’s oldest manatee does have to deal with cameras and videos. Thankfully, Snooty appears to love the attention.
Marilyn Margold, the museum’s aquarium director, said: “He loves cameras.”
Margold also dismissed the rumor that Snooty died years ago and that museum was not using an impostor in his place.
Margold said: “That was a popular thing to do years ago: if you lose one marine mammal, you’d get another one and just give it the same name… In our particular case, it’s not true. Snooty has two scars on his side from some abscesses that were removed over 30 years ago, and that’s a real strong identification. Also he has a very predominant tail. And those two things are giveaways that it’s the same Snooty.”
If you happen to be in Florida you can attend Snooty the Manatee’s birthday party this weekend. You can also check out the museums live stream.
[Image Via Facebook]