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BRADENTON, Fla. - The world’s oldest-known living manatee, Snooty, died Sunday in a freak accident at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.
The 69-year-old manatee was killed in a “heartbreaking accident,” museum officials said.
You can read the details of our press release on the passing of Snooty at the link:... https://t.co/ZTpgxB3sdg— South Florida Museum (@SouthFLMuseum) July 23, 2017
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.”
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.