Snooty, the world’s oldest manatee, has tragically died in a freak accident

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It wasn’t old age but rather an unbolted hatch that led to the death of Snooty, the world’s oldest known manatee.

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Officials at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Fla., sadly reported the passing on Facebook shortly after the animal’s 69th birthday.

Snooty’s death is being referred to as a “tragic accident.”

“Our initial investigation indicates that Snooty’s death was a heartbreaking accident, and we’re all quite devastated about his passing,” Museum CEO Brynne Anne Besio said in a release. “We’re reviewing what happened and will be conducting a full investigation into the circumstances.”

According to the museum, the manatee was discovered in an off-limits underwater area used to access plumbing for the exhibit life. Snooty had entered the area; a panel door, normally bolted shut, had somehow been knocked loose.

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Three other manatees in his habitat are all OK.

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