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Pet Talk

Snooty turns 64!

Video: Happy birthday to our favorite sea cow!

From: www.southfloridamuseum.org

Born on July 21, 1948, at the old Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company, Snooty was the first recorded birth of a manatee in captivity. "Baby Snoots" was brought to Bradenton as part of the 1949 Desoto Celebration. Since then, he has greeted more than one million visitors.

Snooty, our very own ambassador for manatees and other endangered species has participated in training with New College and the Mote Marine Laboratory staff, contributing to our knowledge of manatees. In addition, he is the subject of informative talks given several times daily to visitors of all ages, covering everything from eating habits and reproduction to physiology.

62-year-old Snooty is Manatee County's official mascot, and the aquarium staff helps him "correspond" with students from around the country. These students, in turn, share their knowledge with their classmates. Each year, several generations of visitors help Snooty celebrate his birthday at a free Birthday Bash and Wildlife Awareness Festival, complete with a birthday card contest and treats for the kids. This is very special because Snooty was the first manatee to have an actual, recorded birth date!

Thanks to community support and encouragement, a larger home for Snooty, the Parker Manatee Aquarium, opened in November 1993, built to house three adult manatees.

In February 1998, as part of the Manatee Rehabilitation Network, Snooty welcomed his first pool-mate "Newton". Snooty has also shared his pool with Mo, Palma Sola, Desoto Park, Salvador, Angelito, Fort Myers Baby, Passe Grille Baby , Whitaker, Muddy Baron,  Little Coral, Snitch, Baby Coral , Baby Sister, Little Nap, Cayman and Bolee. These manatees were rescued for various reasons; rehabilitated here and released back into the wild.

You may track released manatees online at www.wildtracks.org.

Snooty's birthday party will be held on Saturday, July 21st beginning at 10 a.m.!  The outdoor festival is free of charge, and indoor admission is reduced in honor of the day.  $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for kids 4-12.  The party at the South Florida Museum will include a Wildlife Festival, card making contest and much more!  For more information, log on to www.southfloridamuseum.org

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