BRADENTON, Fla. - Snooty the Manatee has some new friends to hang out with. But one of them was apparently not happy with the move to the South Florida Museum on Thursday.
“Longo” and “Cheeno” are joining the museum's long-time resident, Snooty. At 64 years old, he's the oldest known manatee in the world.
Both of the young manatees suffered from cold stress and have been undergoing therapy at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. The museum will offer the next phase in their care. The South Florida Museum is a second stage rehabilitation facility that provides a temporary home for manatees until they are ready for release back to the wild.
However, Thursday’s transfer did not go exactly as planned. As one of the young male manatees was lowered into a tank, he began flopping violently, splashing not just water at those in the room, but manatee waste as well.
Manatees generally cannot stay healthy in water colder than 68 degrees. They can develop skin lesions and pneumonia during extended exposure to cold.