Review: Death of 69-year-old manatee Snooty was preventable
August 31, 2017
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- An outside review has determined that the drowning death of a 69-year-old captive manatee could have been prevented.
South Florida Museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio announced the findings Thursday after a review by animal welfare attorney James Gesualdi.
Snooty was found dead July 23, two days after his birthday. The large marine mammal had become trapped in a maintenance tube. The review found aquarium staff members were aware of the maintenance panel being loose or missing screws a week earlier, but an effective repair was never completed.
Museum spokeswoman Jessica Schubick confirmed that Marilyn Margold, the aquarium's director when Snooty died, no longer works for the museum. A telephone message left for Margold wasn't immediately returned.
The museum says Snooty was certified in 2015 as the longest-living manatee in captivity.
July 26, 2017
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida museum where a 69-year-old manatee got trapped in a maintenance tube and drowned has reopened to the public.
According to a Bradenton Herald report , a small crowd of people brought cards and sweet potatoes to the South Florida Museum on Tuesday to a memorial for the manatee named Snooty.
Officials have said the 1,000-pound marine mammal somehow got into the 30-by-30 inch tube Sunday but was not able to turn around and escape. Manatees can stay underwater for 20 minutes, but they cannot swim backward.
The death remains under investigation. Museum spokeswoman Jessica Schubick said security cameras were operating in the manatee habitat, but the tank is kept dark at night. Officials have said that the panel covering the tube was last opened five years ago.
Snooty was the longest-living manatee in captivity.
July 24, 2017
BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) -- Officials from a Florida museum say a 69-year-old manatee that died over the weekend got trapped in a maintenance tube and drowned.
During a news conference Monday, officials from the South Florida Museum in Bradenton said Snooty the manatee somehow gained access to the 30-by-30 inch (75-by-75 centimeter) tube and was not able to turn around. Museum executives said the panel on the tube was last opened five years ago and is for emergency use only.
Manatees usually surface every 2-5 minutes, but can stay underwater for 20 minutes. They cannot swim backward.
Snooty was the longest-living manatee in captivity, and turned 69 two days before his death.
He had been in good health, eating about 80 pounds (35 kilograms) of vegetables every day to sustain his 1,000-pound (450-kilogram) body.