BRADENTON (FOX 13) - One of south Florida's most lovable mascots, Snooty the Manatee, celebrated his 68th birthday Saturday!
Snooty holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest living manatee in captivity. Most wild manatees only live around 15 years, which means Snooty really is one-of-a-kind.
The annual Snooty Birthday Bash and Wildlife Festival promotes wildlife awareness and gives visitors the opportunity to meet Snooty and celebrate his life and contributions. He has taught researchers much of what they know today about manatees.
"We've been doing Snooty's Birthday Bash for decades, literally," says Jessica Schuvick, a South Florida Museum employee. "We know we have at least been doing it since his 21st birthday and we are now at 68, so we know it's been quite a long time."
Snooty's favorite foods include lettuce, carrots, broccoli and sweet potatoes. He eats, on average, 70 pounds of lettuce and an additional 10 pounds of vegetables each day.
"Of course he loves his fruit - he only gets it on his birthday because we like to keep him happy. He shouldn't be having too much sugary food, but strawberries and pineapple are his favorites. So he really loves his birthday because that's about the only day of the year that he gets those special foods," says Schuvick.
His favorite pastime is helping to rehabilitate injured manatees in his home at the South Florida Museum, which serves as a 2nd-stage rehab center for injured manatees.
Snooty's Birthday Bash and Wildlife Festival is a FREE outdoor event and takes place annually. It is held on the Saturday that follows Snooty's birthday on July 21st.
Click here to watch Snooty live on the Snooty Cam Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.