While Hubby and I were in Bradenton we visited the South Florida Museum. It also houses the Bishop Planetarium and the Parker Manatee Aquarium. It was the Aquarium that I really wanted to see because I wanted to see a manatee!
The Aquarium is home to Snooty, the world's oldest known manatee. He was born July 21, 1948 at the old Miami Aquarium and has lived at the South Florida Museum since 1949.
Two other rescued manatees share his tank, Brandee and Charlie. They will eventually be released back into the wild but Snooty, who was born in captivity, will live out his days here.
See the white patches on Brandee's skin? That's frost damage and will never change. Manatees need warm water to survive. During the winter they like the warm discharge of power plants and they know where the warm spots in the rivers are located.
Man is the greatest threat to these slow moving animals. The gentle manatees just don't realize the danger of a speeding boat and don't, or can't, get out of the way.
The Aquarium is also a rehabilitation center so Snooty often shares his tank.
Snooty is hand-fed but Brandee and Charlie are fed separately so they don't get used to human contact.
Snooty is a healthy manatee at 1,215 pounds and 9 feet 7 inches long. Manatees love to eat lettuce, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes - white and sweet. Broccoli is a special treat!
We really enjoyed our visit with Snooty. If you're ever in the area stop by and see him!
Next time: The Gamble Plantation