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Snooty the manatee celebrates 66th birthday

By: The Associated Press
July 20, 2014 Updated: July 20, 2014 at 2:00 pm
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BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — The manatee that's believed to be the oldest in captivity in the world is marking another birthday.

Hundreds of people gathered at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton on Saturday to celebrate Snooty's 66th birthday.

Experts say manatees in the wild are expected to survive only about 20 years or so. Snooty may be one of the oldest manatees ever.

The museum's manatee care specialist calls Snooty is an "ambassador for all other manatees" who has helped researchers learn more about the marine mammals.

Museum spokeswoman Jessica Schubick says that every year that Snooty gets older, the manatee sets a new bar for how old manatees might get if they didn't have to contend in the wild with cold snaps, red tide algae blooms or collisions with boats.

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