Snooty the Manatee Turns 65

The oldest manatee in captivity is living the good life.

"If you lived in a pool where people gave you a bath and fed you lettuce by hand and you had no other predators and the water was always a nice warm temperature, you'd be living long too," Brynne Anne Besio, executive director of the South Florida Museum, told the Associated Press.

The sea cow, who may be the oldest of his kind on record, marked his 65th birthday on July 21, with a weekend celebration at his Bradenton, Fla., home.

With his guests watching, Snooty — who can be quite a ham — indulged in a cake made out of fruit and enjoyed his birthday cards.

Born at the Miami Aquarium in 1948, Snooty moved to the South Florida Museum the following year, and has entertained visitors there ever since.

While the oldest wild manatee to be found on the shores of Florida was estimated to be about 53 years old, the animals only live an average of 13 years in the wild.

"Every year we celebrate a birthday for Snooty, it sets a new records as far as the aging potential for manatees," said Robert Bonde, a manatee expert for the United States Geological Survey in Gainesville, Fla.


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