In a tragic accident, the oldest manatee in captivity called Snooty has succumbed to death. Snooty passed away on Saturday, July 22, at the age of 69. The mammal met with an accident at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, which led to the creature’s death. Officials at the South Florida Museum stated that they would be reviewing the accident and the circumstances that lead to the death. The museum’s chief executive officer Brynne Anne Besio stated that the incident was “heart breaking” and everyone at the institution was devastated.

Manatee passes away

Besio stated that the management will be reviewing the accident and will conduct a full inquiry to ascertain what led the Manatee’s death.

Besion also noted that Snooty was considered a star and the staff, board members, as well as the volunteers all mourn his death. The mammal’s dead body was discovered from an underwater area, which was only deployed to gain entry into the plumbing.

What could be the reason for the death?

Early investigations indicate that the panel which kept the plumbing area out of access had somehow gotten dislodged, which led to Snooty swimming through it. However, the other three manatees which shared the rehabilitation area along with the creature i.e. Gale, Baca, and Randall are all fine. According to the press statement released by the museum, Snooty’s habitat was daily checked, and there was no indication of anything going amiss the day before the manatee died. In the interim, the museum’s aquarium will remain closed to visitors as the staff continues to investigate the matter, while Snooty’s carers grieve his loss.

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Who was Snooty?

The marine creature was born at the Miami Aquarium in July in 1948. His birth was the first for a manatee, which was under human care. A year after the birth, Snooty was moved to Bradenton. This shift was a part of the Desoto Celebration. Back then, the manatee was called “Baby Snoots,” and after the event, he was shifted permanently to the care of the museum.

He was made the official mascot of Manatee County in 1979, and during his life time of 69 years, the mammal greeted over 1 million guests to the aquarium. The Florida FWSC’s lab, which is located in St. Petersburg will be performing the manatee’s autopsy. In a recent development, the marine mammal was bestowed with the title of the oldest living manatee in the world in captivity by the Guinness World Records, as it outlived its fellow manatees by almost fifty years.