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RIP

Snooty, the oldest manatee living in captivity, dies at 69

The oldest manatee living in captivity, Snooty, died two days after his 69th birthday in a "heartbreaking accident," the South Florida Museum said Sunday.

Officials said Snooty, who was also the first manatee born in captivity, in 1948, drowned after being trapped by a hatch door at the museum's Parker Manatee Aquarium. Jeff Rodgers, provost and chief operating officer of the museum, said the hatch was normally bolted shut, and they will investigate how it opened. It's believed that Snooty, who weighed 1,300 pounds and moved to the aquarium in 1949, was also the oldest captive manatee on record.

Rodgers said the staff is "heartbroken" and grieving alongside Snooty's fans, who have been leaving flowers for him outside the aquarium. The museum has a manatee rehabilitation program that takes care of manatees and prepares them to return to the wild, but Rodgers said the staff is "still processing Snooty's loss right now," and it's yet to be determined if they will have another resident manatee. Catherine Garcia