SNOOTY™ IS OFFICIALLY THE GUINNESS WORLD RECORD HOLDER FOR OLDEST DOCUMENTED MANATEE IN THE WORLD!
The Oldest Manatee turns 67 years old on July 21, 2015 and will celebrate with a FREE outdoor festival on Saturday, July 18, 2015.
Snooty was documented “The Oldest Manatee in Captivity” on by Guinness World Records as having been born on July 21, 1948.
(Bradenton, FL) Snooty™ is an extra special Florida manatee who sets records every day for how long we know manatees can live. That fact has now been documented by Guinness World Records. He has been named Guinness World Records’ ” Oldest Manatee in Captivity.” Snooty lives at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, FL in the Parker Manatee Aquarium which he shares with young orphaned or injured wild manatees that are being cared for by Museum staff as part of the Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation partnership.
The South Florida Museum was approached by Guinness World Records about documenting Snooty’s record- setting age after his national news-making 65th Birthday Bash in 2013. The Guinness project took a great deal of time and research to properly and officially document. Guinness World Records thoroughly reviews the documentation and testimonies sent by record-seekers as the submission goes through a rigorous evaluation process before being certified. The official date that his record was certified is August 28, 2014 – making him 66 years and 38 days old at the time. He will turn an astounding 67 years old on July 21, 2015 and his birthday will be celebrated during Snooty’s 67th Birthday Bash and Wildlife Festival on July 18, 2015 from 10 am – 2 pm.
As the “Oldest Manatee in Captivity,” it is widely believed that Snooty is the oldest Florida manatee in the world! Manatee ages can only be determined after a necropsy (or animal autopsy) by examining their ear bones. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (which monitors the manatee population and performs routine necropsies), the oldest aged wild Florida manatee was 59 years old – with the next oldest having reached 48 years of age. Typical manatee deaths are being documented before 15 years of age on average. There is, at this time, no record of any Florida manatee anywhere having reached an older age than Snooty. For this reason, Snooty’s life has and will be a source of a great information and research concerning manatees.
CEO of South Florida Museum, Brynne Anne Besio said, “Snooty is a one-of-a-kind animal. Not only does he make history every day as the oldest-known manatee in the world, but he also provides valuable insight into the health and life cycle of all manatees.” Of the upcoming Birthday Bash, Besio continued, “Snooty holds a special place in the hearts of people from around the world. We hear from locals who grew up celebrating Snooty’s birthday each year and are so pleased that they can now share the Birthday Bash with their own children. We also receive birthday cards and greetings from people around the world, from San Diego to Scotland to South America. This day is celebrated far and wide and it’s an honor for South Florida Museum to share it with the world.”
Born on July 21, 1948, at the old Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company, Snooty was the first recorded birth of a manatee in captivity. Snooty first came to Bradenton, FL as part of the 1949 DeSoto Festival. He was then permanently transferred to the care of the newly established South Florida Museum. At that time, the Museum was located downtown on the Memorial Pier in what was the Chamber of Commerce Building. In 1966, the Museum – and Snooty – moved to its current location on 10th Street West in Bradenton. Finally in 1998, Snooty was moved to a new 60,000 gallon aquarium facility where he currently resides.
Snooty has participated in research with New College of Florida, University of Florida, and Mote Marine Laboratory staff. In addition to his importance for science and manatee conservation, Snooty is also a tremendously beloved figure in Bradenton, the region and around the world. He has received many honors throughout his life. He has met wildlife conservationist and actress Tippi Hedren, General Norman Schwarzkopf, and appeared on Captain Kangaroo in 1982.
The Manatee County Board of County Commissioners voted that “Snooty shall continue to be known, designated, and affirmed as the Official Mascot of Manatee County” in 2013. Snooty was originally given this designation on April 3, 1979. This designation has been made in honor of Snooty’s standing as the world’s oldest known manatee, as a long-time Manatee County resident (since 1949!), and as an ambassador for wildlife preservation all over the world, having greeted more than 2 million on-site visitors in his lifetime and reaching countless people all over the world through the online Snooty Cam.
Additionally, on June 03, 2013, Congressman Vern Buchanan formally recognized Snooty’s historic 65th birthday by entering it into the Congressional Record. Congressman Buchanan mentioned “Snooty is an ambassador for wildlife preservation, a local celebrity, and a tourist attraction to Manatee County.” He spoke about Snooty’s role in helping scientists learn and understand more about manatees, the man-made and natural threats they face, his part in educating the public, and how he has captured the hearts of so many people worldwide.
As part of the Manatee Rescue & Rehabilitation Partnership (MRP), the South Florida Museum is a second stage rehabilitation facility that provides a temporary home for manatees until they are ready for release back to the wild. The South Florida Museum and Snooty have hosted 28 rehabilitating wild manatees since joining the MRP in 1998. Snooty currently shares his tank with “Myakklemore,” a juvenile male manatee who was discovered orphaned and suffering from cold stress in the Myakka River in January 2014.
The MRP is a cooperative group of non-profit, private, state, and federal entities who work together to monitor the health and survival of rehabilitated and released manatees. Information about manatees currently being tracked is available at www.manateerescue.org. The endangered Florida manatee is at risk from both natural and man-made causes of injury and mortality. Exposure to red tide, cold stress, and disease are all natural problems that can affect manatees. Human-caused threats include boat strikes, crushing by flood gates or locks, and entanglement in or ingestion of fishing gear.
Snooty’s 67th Birthday Bash and Wildlife Festival is quickly approaching on July 18, 2015 and the South Florida Museum is excited to welcome submissions for the Annual Birthday Card Contest! Students entering preschool-6th grade are encouraged to submit a birthday card for Snooty for the chance to win great prizes. Birthday cards will be judged for creativity and originality… so have fun! The Museum’s Director of Living Collections Marilyn Margold, who cares for Snooty and the rehab manatees and marine life at the Museum, said, “Every year Snooty sets an even higher benchmark for how long manatees can live! Every day he’s with us, we learn more about manatees and he shows us that manatee lifespans could be extended. We want to invite kids from around the country – and all over the world – to celebrate Snooty’s life by wishing him a happy birthday and participating in the contest.”
All submissions are due by July 3, 2015 at 5 pm. Late submissions and submissions without a completed entry form will not be judged. First, second, and third place prizes will be awarded in to the top cards in each of four age categories immediately following the crowd serenading Snooty with “The Birthday Song” at noon during Snooty’s 67th Birthday Bash on Saturday, July 18, 2015. Awards will be announced and prizes distributed in the Museum’s Spanish Plaza. To be judged, all entries must include an entry form with name, home address, telephone number, age and child’s school grade (2015– 2016). Entry forms can be picked up at the Museum (201 10th Street W., Bradenton, FL 34205) or online at SouthFloridaMuseum.org.
Make your cards now and mark your calendars for Snooty’s 67th Birthday Bash, Arts and Wildlife Awareness Festival on Saturday, July 18, 2015 from 10 am until 2 pm! Admission to the outdoor Birthday Bash in the Spanish Plaza and on 10th Street will be FREE, while General Admission to the Museum’s indoor Galleries, Aquarium, and Planetarium is discounted by more than half for the day! All attendees to the Festival will have the opportunity to say hello to Snooty in the Spanish Plaza’s underwater view of the manatee pool – and sing him “Happy Birthday” at noon.
Fun Facts about Me (Snooty)!
I will be turning 67 years old this July – making me the oldest known manatee in the world!
I am an herbivore (I only eat plants and vegetables) and consume 70-80 lbs. of vegetables each day.
I am 9 feet 8 inches in length and weigh in more than 1000 pounds!
Proudly, I am the official mascot of Manatee County.
I was born at the old Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company on July 21, 1948 and have lived at the South Florida Museum since 1949.
I’ve helped to foster 28 sick or injured wild manatees through the Manatee Rehabilitation and Release Partnership, ultimately helping to return these animals to the wild.
I currently live in a 60,000 gallon habitat in the Parker Manatee Aquarium.
I’ve greeted more than two million visitors in my lifetime – and have been seen by even more people on the live SnootyCam online!
About the South Florida Museum
The largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the South Florida Museum offers engaging exhibits as well as educational programs which interpret the scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe. In addition to the permanent exhibits, the Museum features a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions – offering something new to discover with each visit. The facility also includes both the all-digital Bishop Planetarium Theater and the Parker Manatee Aquarium. Outfitted with a state-of-the-art Planetarium and projection system, the Bishop Planetarium is the region’s premier astronomy education facility with stunning new multimedia capabilities. The Parker Manatee Aquarium is home to Snooty™, Manatee County’s official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world. Snooty shares his Aquarium pool with young manatees from the Manatee Rehabilitation and Release Partnership.
These injured or orphaned animals are taken care of by the Parker Aquarium staff until they are ready to be released into the wild. For more information about current exhibitions and special programs, membership, hours, or admission prices please call 941-746-4131 or visit SouthFloridaMuseum.org.