Elderly manatee Snooty gets a birthday party
Snooty, left, is the oldest known manatee in captivity and the Bradenton resident is turning 64. You’d think this senior citizen would be getting a Snuggie or a set of Big Band era CDs. But no, the South Florida Museum will celebrate Saturday with a free outdoor party of children’s games, a wildlife awareness fair, arts and crafts and some cookies and juice. Museum admission is reduced to $8 for adults, $7 seniors, $6 for children 4-12 at 201 10th St. W, Bradenton. (941) 746-4131. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.
Snooty’s led a life of leisure. He was born aboard one boat — the Prins Valdemar, which had been converted into the Miami Aquarium — after another one had injured his mother. Now, Snooty gets a party at the aquarium each year— but no cake please. A fellow his age has to watch what he eats, he gets 70 pounds of lettuce and 15 pounds of assorted vegetables each day.
I actually visited this museum on a school field trip this year and it was so much more than I expected. It wasn't that far of a drive over the Skyway Bridge to turn into downtown Bradenton. They have a great exhibit of Clyde Butcher's Florida photographs, beautiful black and white nature photographs that capture beauty in the Everglades. That runs through Aug. 26.
They had a very impressive series of exhibits that tell Florida's story from the prehistoric to the present time with life-sized casts of Ice Age mammals, Indian village dioramas and fossil exhibits. There's also a planetarium with a star show and of course, Snooty and their other manatee "guests."
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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