Just yesterday (July 21), Snooty the lovable old manatee turned the ripe old age of 66. As the oldest manatee in captivity, and potentially the oldest one ever, he makes a strong case for manatee and wildlife conservation. Few of these marine animals in the wild live past 30 and most don’t make it past 10 – due to both natural and human-made dangers.
Despite their sweet and harmless dispositions, and despite the love that visitors to the South Florida Museum’s Parker Manatee Aquarium have for Snooty, these cute animals are nonetheless endangered. In fact, they suffer mutilations from boats on a regular basis because of insufficient protections safeguarding these adorable marine mammals from razor-sharp propellers.
Scroll down below to check the cutest manatee pictures and to wish Snooty a very happy birthday!
Happy birthday, Snooty!
Snooty was born in 1948 – when Harry S. Truman was President in the U.S.
Because he was born and raised in captivity, Snooty cannot be released into the wild.
“Snooty eats 70-80lbs of lettuce, carrots, kale, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, and other assorted vegetables daily. With a diet like that, there’s no wonder why he’s the world’s oldest manatee!” South Florida Museum
Research performed with Snooty has helped expand researchers’ understanding of these wild animals. What once seemed to many like a dumb species (in part because of their tiny brains in proportion to their body mass) is now known to have intelligence comparable to that of dolphins, though with far less grace and agility.
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