Snooty's Birthday Bash in Bradenton this weekend - WFLA News Channel 8

Snooty's Birthday Bash in Bradenton this weekend

Posted: Updated:
BRADENTON, FL (WFLA) -

Snooty the manatee was born when Harry S. Truman was president, Columbia records had just released its 33 1/3 LP format, and people were still talking about how the NBC television network had broadcast Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in its entirety.    

Life in America, of course, has changed.         

But Snooty is still around, entertaining visitors, munching on lettuce and swimming silently in his tank at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.       

Sunday is his 65th birthday, and to mark the occasion the museum will host a free party Saturday.   

Related story: 07/15/2013 Snooty, the world's oldest manatee, prepares for 65th birthday   

He's the oldest manatee in captivity and possibly one of the oldest ever, experts say.      

"If you lived in a pool where people gave you a bath and fed you lettuce by hand and you had no other predators and the water was always a nice warm temperature, you'd be living long too," said Brynne Anne Besio, executive director of the South Florida Museum. "He's protected, he's safe, he has a great diet, he has regular medical care, and so he's got all the odds for him in terms of living long."       

Snooty, who is in good health, eats about 80 pounds of lettuce and vegetables every day to sustain his 1,000 pound body. He shares a tank with two smaller manatees that are being rehabilitated for cold stress. And lately, he appears thrilled to greet his visitors from the media.    

"He loves cameras," said Marilyn Margold, the museum's aquarium director. Indeed, on a recent day, Snooty glided from his deep tank to a shallow medical tank and hoisted his torso above the water so he could sling a flipper onto the edge of the pool. When he spotted a video camera, he slowly inched forward toward its lens.   

Snooty has been invaluable over the decades for education and conservation purposes, said Robert Bonde, a research biologist and manatee expert for the United States Geological Survey in Gainesville.    

"Every year we celebrate a birthday for Snooty, it sets a new records as far as the aging potential for manatees," he said.   

Bonde said that among the wild manatee carcasses found in Florida, research showed the oldest was 53 - yet the average manatee only lives to be about 13 due to man-made threats and environmental stressors, such as cold weather. 

Although Snooty is the longest lived manatee in captivity, it's entirely possible that they could live just as long in the wild if they didn't face threats like boat propellers, said Bonde.      

"It's tough to be a manatee in Florida," he said. 

Manatees are evolutionary relatives of both elephants and dugongs (a manatee-like creature that lives mostly in waters near Australia). Both of those are long lived, said Bonde, so it makes sense that manatees would be as well.   

Over the years, some have claimed that Snooty has been replaced by younger manatees. Museum officials laugh at the tales.    

"That was a popular thing to do years ago: if you lose one marine mammal, you'd get another one and just give it the same name," said Margold. "In our particular case, it's not true. Snooty has two scars on his side from some abscesses that were removed over 30 years ago, and that's a real strong identification. Also he has a very predominant tail. And those two things are giveaways that it's the same Snooty."

Snooty's Birthday Bash will include perfromance by the Garbage Men band, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, and Pure Dancers, misting station and water slide, games, face painting and balloon twisting. Suncoast Food truck will provide refreshments.

The birthday cake presentation is set for noon in the Spanish Plaza Courtyard with Bradenton Mayor Wayme Poston leading the birthday song.

During the celebration 10th Street West will be closed for traffic.

For more details visit Snooty's Birthday Bash page

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Clashes in east Ukraine leave at least 2 dead

    Clashes in east Ukraine leave at least 2 dead

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:35 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:35:26 GMT
    Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says police have cleared the city hall in a southeastern city of pro-Russian protesters who had been occupying it for over a week.
    Ukrainian government troops moved against pro-Russia forces in the east of the country on Thursday and killed at least two of them in clashes at checkpoints manned by the insurgents, the government and insurgents said....
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors

    Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors

    Thursday, April 24 2014 7:25 AM EDT2014-04-24 11:25:41 GMT
    Police in Afghanistan say a security guard has opened fire in a Kabul hospital, killing three foreigners and wounding one other person.
    An Afghan security guard opened fire on a group of foreign doctors at a Kabul hospital on Thursday morning, killing three American physicians and wounding a U.S. nurse, officials said.
  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Woman claims pedicure crossed the line

    Woman claims pedicure crossed the line

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:45 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:45:39 GMT
    A Shreveport woman said a nail tech from Style Nails in Shreveport crossed the line during a pedicure, and that she has cell phone video to prove it.
    A Shreveport woman said a nail tech from Style Nails in Shreveport crossed the line during a pedicure, and that she has cell phone video to prove it.
  • Search halted for missing Gaboon Viper

    Search halted for missing Gaboon Viper

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:08:20 GMT
    The missing viper could still be out there, but the search has been halted for safety concerns.
    The missing viper could still be out there, but the search has been halted for safety concerns.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.