Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Snooty the Manatee Celebrates his 61st Birthday!

Bradenton, FL - Thousands of visitors descended on the Parker Manatee Aquarium to wish Snooty "Happy Birthday" yesterday. How do we know Snooty's exact birthday? According to my 1948 the old Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company had an adult female manatee in captivity, but didn't know she was pregnant! Aquarium staff were quite shocked to find “Baby Snoots” in the pool with his mom on July 21st, 1948. To the best of my knowledge, Snooty was the first manatee ever born in captivity.

In 1949, Snooty was moved to Bradenton as part of the Desoto Celebration where he has greeted more than one million visitors. Snooty is South Florida Museum's very own ambassador and as such he has participated in research, education, and conservation project through New College, Mote Marine Lab, and the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership. On a daily basis, he helps musuem docents give interpretive talks to visitors of all ages.
Snooty is also Manatee County’s official mascot! Aquarium staff help him “correspond” with students from around the country. And once a year, on July 21st (also my grandson's BD), Snooty hosts a free Birthday Bash and Wildlife Awareness Festival for the public.

The Parker Manatee Aquarium, built to house up to 3 adult manatees, opened in November 1993. In February 1998, as part of the Manatee Rehabilitation Network, Snooty welcomed his first pool-mate “Newton”. Since then, Snooty has also shared his pool with Mo, Palma Sola, Desoto Park, Salvador, Angelito, Fort Myers Baby, Passe Grille Baby, Whitaker, Muddy Baron, Baby Coral, Little Coral, Snitch, Baby Coral & Baby Sister. These manatees were rescued through the Manatee Rehabilitation Partnership, rehabilitated at Parker, and released back into the wild. In the United States, our laws require that all captive manatees be released into the wild population if possible. However, Snooty is "grandfathered" under this law, meaning he was in captivity prior to the law being passed and does not have to be released into the wild.

Learn more about Snooty here:
Track released manatees here:
More Birthday photos here:

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