Nerves get to one of Snooty the Manatee's new roommates - WFLA News Channel 8

Nerves get to one of Snooty the Manatee's new roommates

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BRADENTON, FL (WFLA) -

Snooty the manatee got two new roommates this morning.  Two young manatees Longo and Cheeno arrived at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton Thursday morning.  They had been receiving continued care after being treated at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa.

They joined Snooty, the museum's long-term resident and the oldest known manatee.  Snooty is 64.

"We're always happy to welcome new manatees," said Marilyn Margold, the museum's director of living collections. "Snooty's been on his own for a couple of weeks now, and these two will bring new energy."  Longo and Cheeno were rescued in 2012 and treated for cold stress at the zoo's critical care hospital for injured and sick manatees and orphaned calves.

Cold stress is a condition similar to frostbite, the museum workers explained. Being cold for a long time may cause development of skin lesions and pneumonia in manatees, the workers told us.  The South Florida Museum temporarily houses the manatees and rehabilitates them before they can be released into the wild as a part of the Manatee Rehabilitation Program. 

Both manatees are healthy now, but they need to grow bigger.  "We like manatees to be about 800 pounds at release, and if they are going to be tagged, they need to be big enough for the belt we put at the base of the tail to fit well," Margold said.

Longo weighs in at 675 pounds and Cheeno is 465 pounds now.  You can come visit the trio at the museum starting Thursday as part of the museum's general admission.

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