As of July 21, 2014, Snooty the Manatee is 66 years of age. On record he is the oldest manatee in captivity and potentially the world’s oldest manatee overall which in itself makes a strong case for manatee conservation. In comparison to manatees in captivity, those living in the wild are considered lucky should they get to 30 years old with most dying before the age of 10 due to natural and man-made disasters.
Manatees have earned the unenviable status of “endangered species” with many been mutilated on an annual basis by motor boats unaware of their presence in bodies of water located in several tourist regions across the globe. Snooty is a bit more fortunate with his safety assured in the confinements of the South Florida Museum’s Parker Manatee Aquarium.
Snooty was born in 1948 – when Harry S. Truman was President in the U.S.
Snooty was born and raised in captivity and as such he cannot be released into the wild. “Snooty eats 70-80lbs of lettuce, carrots, kale, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli and other assorted vegetables daily. With a diet like that, there’s no wonder why he’s the world’s oldest manatee!” according to a statement released by the South Florida Museum.
Research conducted with Snooty has improved scientists understanding of manatees. The creature which was once considered an unintelligent species (in part because of their tiny brains in proportion to their body mass) is now known to have smarts capable of rivalling the nous of dolphins, however this is achieved with less panache.