World's oldest manatee: Sea creature Snooty is 'world's oldest' at 66

Snooty the manatee celebrates his 66th birthday (Caters)


Meet Snooty the manatee, who celebrated his 66th birthday earlier this week in style - with a party and cake, and surrounded by thousands of adoring well-wishers.

The milestone means that Snooty could be the world's oldest manatee, and is officially the oldest in captivity.

He was born at the Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company in 1948, where owner Samuel Stout had a permit to own a single manatee, called Lady.

When Lady gave birth to her calf, Samuel was forced to look for another home for the mammal because of the legal ownership restriction.






 

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A year later, the young sea-cow became a resident at the South Florida Museum in Brandenton and was given a 3,000 US gallon tank to live in.

Snooty quickly became a popular attraction, and thousands of guests now gather to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him every year.

Around 5,000 visitors attended the 66th annual Birthday Bash for the adored manatee - a tradition which began with his 20th birthday in 1968.


He was showered with hand-made birthday cards, and even had a cake made out of vegetables made especially for his party.

Brynne Anne Besio, CEO of the South Florida Museum, said: 'This was such a special event for us this year.

'It was tremendously heart-warming to have such an outpouring of support not just from our community, but from all over the country and the world.











Around 5,000 visitors attended the 66th annual Birthday Bash for the adored manatee (Caters)

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'Snooty is an ambassador, not just for manatees, but for all endangered species.

'If we work together to protect their natural environment, we could help to increase the life expectancy of manatees in the wild.'

Snooty's official birthday falls on July 21.