Snooty, the world's oldest manatee, dies in shocking accident

Snooty, the world's oldest manatee, dies in shocking accidentThe world's oldest manatee was expected to live even longer before he died in a tragic accident. Museum staff were heartbroken when their pride and joy perished a day after celebrating his 69th birthday. The South Florida Museum chief executive Brynne Anne Besio explained the death of the beloved animal in a statement. He said Snooty’s death appeared to be “a heartbreaking accident” and added that staff were “devastated”. Museum provost and chief operating officer Jeff Rodgers said Snooty died after becoming stuck in a maintenance hatch leading off his tank. Credit: Tamara Lush/AP In a Facebook live broadcast, he said the animal shared his space with three young rescued manatees, Randall, Baca and Gale. “The hatch is big enough for a 1,300lb manatee to get in," he said. “It appears that he was not able to get himself back around to get himself out of the situation.” It is thought the animal drowned, but an necropsy is yet to be completed. He said the three other manatees were not injured. Credit: www.facebook.com/SouthFLMuseum  Mr Rogers said: "We’re all devastated about his passing. We’re reviewing what happened and will be conducting a full investigation. "Snooty was such a unique animal and he had so much personality that people couldn’t help but be drawn to him. As you can imagine, I – and our staff, volunteers and board members – considered him a star. We all deeply mourn his passing." Credit: www.facebook.com/SouthFLMuseum He said that staff had been greeting people at the door to the aquarium to tell them the heartbreaking news, and that staff had been helping adults break the news to their children. “Snooty’s very important to this community,” Rodgers said. “He’s been with us for 68 years – generations have grown up with that manatee. The emotional outpouring today… we grieve right along with these folks. We’ve given a lot of hugs on the front porch of the museum today. “A lot of people loved that manatee. We loved him too.”



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