Snooty, the world's oldest manatee, prepares for 65th birthday - WFLA News Channel 8

Snooty, the world's oldest manatee, prepares for 65th birthday

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BRADENTON, FL (WFLA) -

The world's oldest known manatee is gearing up for a big celebration.

Snooty has been the star attraction at the South Florida Museum since the 1940's, and in a few weeks he'll be turning 65 years old.

But before the party can begin, Snooty needed a visit from a doctor.

Once snooty was led into a small, enclosed pool, he knew what was coming.

The large mammal started pacing back and forth and swimming in circles just as Dr. Dave Murphy, Snooty's veterinarian, arrived.

Murphy said, "He's comin' up 65, so we thought we ought to take another look at him."

On July 21st, Snooty will turn 65 years old. He's spent his whole life in captivity - born at a Miami aquarium and has lived in Bradenton since 1949.

So just as you would at any physical, Snooty was weighed. He was very cooperative. After all, he's done this quite a few times.

Dr. Murphy said, "This guy is so used to it, he really likes people."

And people really like him. People like Kathie Santa Maria. She's known about Snooty for more than 20 years. Santa Maria is a school teacher and runs an after-school manatee club for kids in Buffalo, New York!

"It's nice for them to see things they may never get to see, and it took me 23 years to get to see," said Santa Maria. "I like [manatees] so much. So for me to actually see Snooty that close is like a dream come true."

Dr. Murphy later took a blood and urine sample. He says so far, Snooty is looking pretty healthy but his age is starting to creep up on him.

Dr. Murphy said, "His skin is getting a little thinner. His muscle tone isn't quite what it should be as a wild manatee."

With the title of world's oldest manatee, Snooty is breaking records every day and scientists are learning a great deal in the process.

"They just don't have a lot of disease problems. We don't really recognize cancer issues with them," said Dr. Murphy.

So on Monday, Snooty got a clean bill of health, and there's no doubt that he's strong enough to live on for many years to come.

On July 20th, the South Florida Museum will have a big birthday bash to celebrate his big day.

There will be food, games and entertainment for the whole family.

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