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Hello Snooty! Oldest Living Manatee in Captivity Makes It to Guiness World Records

Oct 25, 2016 04:00 AM EDT
Many manatees in the wild die before they even reach the age of 10
The manatee population in the wild has significantly dropped due to increase in use of marine life by humans, spending nearly 50 years on the endangered species list.
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

While most people get cake on their birthday, Snooty gets into the Guinness World Records as the world's oldest manatee (in captivity). Born on July 21, 1948 as the first manatee born in captivity, Snooty was brought to South Florida Museum as an 11-month-old calf in 1949. Now 68 years old, he currently lives at the Parker Manatee Aquarium at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.

Live Science reported that Snooty's longevity is credited to the fact that he lives in a controlled environment. Sharing a 60,000-gallon (230,000 liters) pool with two other manatees, Snooty doesn't seem to mind his pool-mates and other manatees according to Jessica Schubick, communications manager at the museum. Snooty is more interested in people, and the feeling is mutual. When Snooty turned 67 in July 2015, he received birthday cards from his fans around the world.

When interviewed by the Guinness World Records, Marilyn Margold, director of living collections at South Florida Museum, asserted that it was important to apply on Snooty's behalf to spread awareness about the longevity of the manatee life span. "Taken proper care of, paying attention to their habitats, those things can help with their longevity. They are hearty animals overall."

The manatee breeding program of South Florida Museum allows visitors to see that manatees have personalities and a level of intelligence. "I would say that he's intelligent, he's very personable, he has the staff well trained, Margold said of Snooty. "He's just entertaining and calming at the same time."

Previously listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), manatees in the wild are in danger due to algae blooms, fishing debris, and boat strikes. Many manatees in the wild die before they even reach the age of 10. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission monitors manatee populations and has recorded the oldest aged wild Florida manatee at 59 years old. The next oldest sea cow has reached 48 years of age.

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