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Posted: July 25, 2017

Petition: Replace Confederate monument with statue of Snooty the manatee


By Jim Hayward, Palm Beach Post

BRADENTON, Fla. —

In the wake of the tragic loss of the world's oldest manatee in captivity, residents in Manatee County, Florida, have taken to the internet to remember the beloved Snooty with a statue that would replace a Confederate monument, the Bradenton Herald reports.

>> Watch a video about Snooty here

The Change.org petition had more than 3,200 signatures early Tuesday. “For a manatee as loved as he was in the community, it’s amazing to see the support,” said Anthony Pusateri, who started the petition. He said it will be submitted to the county and city of Bradenton for consideration.

Pusateri said he's not asking for the complete removal of the Confederate monument that now stands in front of the county courthouse. It could be moved to another location, he said, paving the way for Snooty to take the prime spot in the center of downtown Bradenton.

>> Famous Florida manatee, Snooty, oldest on record, killed in freak aquarium ‘accident’

The statue petition was not the only one filed in tribute to Snooty. Others call for renaming Lakewood Ranch and naming a new high school for the county's unofficial mascot. 

There was an outpouring of emotion Monday across Bradenton, where residents stopped to honor Snooty at the museum. They left flowers, cards, drawings from children, lettuce, carrots and a candle near the front door, according to the Herald.

Snooty drowned Sunday after becoming stuck in the life-support maintenance area at his home at the South Florida Museum, just two days after his 69th birthday. It's not yet known how he got stuck in the small tube, according to another Bradenton Herald story. 

>> Read more trending news

Divers inspected the tank Monday to ensure the safety of the museum's three manatees undergoing rehabilitation.

Jeff Rodgers, the museum's chief operating officer, told the Herald that a memorial service for Snooty is being planned, along with a special memorial on the museum's grounds.

The first recorded manatee born in captivity in 1948, Snooty had lived at the museum since 1949.

Read more from the Bradenton Herald.


Related

Famous Florida manatee, Snooty, oldest on record, killed in freak aquarium ‘accident’ 

The world’s oldest-known living manatee, Snooty, died Sunday in a freak accident at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.

>> Read more trending news

The 69-year-old manatee was killed in a “heartbreaking accident,” museum officials said.

 

Snooty got into an underwater area only used to access plumbing for the exhibit’s life support system. An access panel somehow was knocked loose and the manatee got inside, the museum said on its website

“Our initial investigation indicates that Snooty’s death was a heartbreaking accident and we’re all quite devastated about his passing,” Brynne Anne Besio, the Museum’s CEO, wrote in a release. “We’re reviewing what happened and will be conducting a full investigation into the circumstances.”

>> Related: Baby manatee, mother rescued after being stranded by Hurricane Hermine

The other manatees that were in the same area as Snooty are all unharmed. 

Snooty was the first recorded birth of a manatee in human care and moved to Bradenton in 1949. In 1979, he became Manatee County’s official mascot. 

A necropsy, or animal autopsy, will be performed at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory in St. Petersburg.

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