snootyA nephew first cousin once removed in Knoxville, friends in Atlanta, sister, brother-in-law, and brother in Bradenton, niece in Gainesville. And then there’s Snooty, our manatee friend. Click here for a better photo and click here for his history. He is 66 years old. Yes, that is older than me!

We visited Snooty in 1992 and the beach urchins fell in love with him. They had Snooty t-shirts and somebody decorated an Easter egg to look like Snooty (and got really upset when a parental unit threw it out). One of the beach urchins was involved in a mascot naming event at school and her nose got a wee bit out of joint when her table voted to call themselves the Tigers rather than the Manatees.

I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about Snooty but for one reason or another, he blipped on to my radar screen a few weeks ago and, duh, Snooty is right on the way to Aunt Susie’s house and we can *visit* him! And so we did and were lucky enough to get there at feeding time. The GG didn’t really want to spend $38 ($19 museum entrance fee) “just” to see Snooty but I put my foot down. We have driven all the way down here and we are gonna go visit our friend and I don’t *care* what it costs.

Snooty has a new tank since we were last there and you can’t get close to him any more. Back then he would get right up in your face and you could smell his breath. I’ll leave that to your imagination. And yes, there are two manatees there. Snooty is the bigger one. The facility now rehabs rescued manatees for return to the wild. Snooty is not being rehabbed. As he has lived in captivity his entire life, he doesn’t “know” he is a manatee. He forms personal relationships with each of the individuals who care for him and expects different feeding styles from different people. The young woman feeding Snooty the day we were there said that when she began her job, she couldn’t feed him for a couple weeks because he gets so excited about new people that he won’t eat.

I texted a photooo to the beach urchins and one of them immediately replied with, “Is that who I *think* it is!!!” Friends forever.

2 Responses to “Whirlwind”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Love this story, but I’m going to have to look up manatees because I’m not sure what they’re supposed to look like. Are they blob-ish?

  2. elizabeth carter Says:

    I like your vacation pictures and stories, very glad you stop to visit your friends and the contributions to their well being because it really helps a lot. Have good fun on the way. Love you both.