Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

A manatee milestone: Snooty turning 60

Snooty, the mascot of Manatee County, will soon mark his sixth decade. He will celebrate a little early with a party Saturday at his home at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.

Times (2001)

Snooty, the mascot of Manatee County, will soon mark his sixth decade. He will celebrate a little early with a party Saturday at his home at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.

He remembers things he was taught when he was a year old. He eats healthy food and gets lots of exercise. No wonder Snooty has lived longer than any other captive manatee in the world. On Monday, the mascot of Manatee County turns 60, showing the resilience of one of Florida's natural icons. He was born aboard one boat — the Prins Valdemar, which had been converted into the Miami Aquarium — after another one had injured his mother. Alice Walters Wallace, now 85, the daughter of the owner of the Prins Valdemar, remembers rubbing ointment on the mother manatee's propeller wounds and swimming with the affectionate calf. Snooty's keeper trained him to do simple tricks that he still performs. Today, Snooty gets a party at the South Florida Museum — no cake, just strawberries and pineapples. A fellow his age has to watch what he eats.

July 21, 1948

Snooty born at the Miami Aquarium to Lady, an injured manatee. Operator Sam Stout trains both Lady and her calf to do tricks. Harry Truman in the White House.

April 1, 1949

In trouble for having two manatees instead of the one on his permit, Stout donates Snooty to Manatee County. Calf housed in a 3,000-gallon tank at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton.


Miami Aquarium closed. Lady disappears into Biscayne Bay. Pioneering manatee biologist Joe Moore visits Snooty in Bradenton, cites performance of tricks to show how intelligent manatees are.


First American combat troops land in Vietnam. Construction begins on a new South Florida Museum, including 7,000-gallon tank for Snooty.


First in-depth study of manatees conducted by Daniel "Woodie" Hartman and James ""Buddy'' Powell in Crystal River. Powell's parents took him to visit Snooty when he was 8.


ABC airs Jacques Yves-Cousteau's Forgotten Mermaids documentary, made with Hartman's help, creating international interest in Florida manatees.


President Nixon signs the Endangered Species Act. Manatees on original endangered list.


Snooty turns 30. Legislature declares entire state a manatee sanctuary.


Jimmy Buffett meets Gov. Bob Graham and they create Save the Manatee Club, set up in part by Patrick Rose, who visited Snooty on college break in the late '60s.


Save the Manatee Club petitions to move Snooty to Homosassa Springs State Park to breed with females. Manatee County officials successfully oppose loss of mascot.


Museum moves Snooty into 60,000-gallon pool.


Snooty gets company at last: Newton, a male orphan from Miami. A month after Snooty turns 50, Newton dies of bacterial infection.


Save the Manatee Club sues government over manatee deaths caused by boats. Suit leads to new regulations, sparking a move to declare manatees no longer on endangered list.


Gov. Charlie Crist meets Buffett in Tampa, hears personal appeal to stop downlisting of manatees. Crist announces opposition, halting the move.

July 21, 2008

Snooty turns 60.

A manatee milestone: Snooty turning 60 07/18/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 3:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. White House signals acceptance of Russia sanctions bill


    WASHINGTON — The White House indicated Sunday that President Donald Trump would accept new legislation imposing sanctions on Russia and curtailing his authority to lift them on his own, a striking turnaround after a broad revolt in Congress by lawmakers of both parties who distrusted his friendly approach to …

    President Donald Trump’s ability to lift sanctions against Russia would be blocked.
  2. Senator: American student arrested in China has been freed


    BILLINGS, Mont. — Chinese authorities have dropped charges against an American college student who was arrested and detained in the a week ago after reportedly injuring a taxi driver who was roughing up his mother in a fare dispute, a U.S. lawmaker said Sunday.

    Guthrie McLean was detained for reportedly injuring a taxi driver after the driver physically attacked McLean’s mother.
  3. Tampa-based makeup artist disqualified from contest over pro-Trump post


    WICHITA, Kan. — A makeup artist who splits her time between Tampa and Kansas says she won a national contest sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty but was later disqualified because of an Instagram post supporting Donald Trump's presidential candidacy.

    Gypsy Freeman won the contest with this image posted to Instagram. [@facesofgypsy on Instagram]
  4. Flesh-eating bacteria nearly kills Florida man who thought he just had blisters from a hike


    Wayne Atkins thought little of the blisters he had gotten while hiking. He was trekking up and down the 4,500-foot-high Mount Garfield in New Hampshire - a 10-mile round trip - and blisters were no surprise.

    Wayne Atkins thought his blisters were from hiking, but the flesh eating bacteria nearly killed him. [YouTube]
  5. Yes, again: Rays blow late two-run lead, get swept by Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As weekends go, this was a bad one for the Rays. In a word: brutal.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger, foreground, reacts after giving up a home run to Texas Rangers' Carlos Gomez during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 23, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) FLMC116