Snooty's Death Was Preventable

Snooty the manatee before his death in Bradenton, Fla.

Bradenton, Fla.-(Newsradio 970 WFLA)-The South Florida Museum has released a report on the death of Snooty the manatee. That report calls the death a "preventable accident."

The 69 year-old Snooty died when an access panel blocking an underwater plumbing area in his habitat came off at some point on the night of July 22 or the morning of July 23.  Snooty swam into the opening, was unable to get out and drowned.

The death report says museum officials discovered that aquarium staff were aware of the panel being loose or askew, or that it was missing screws, a week before Snooty’s death. Due to breakdowns in record keeping, reporting, communication and follow-through there was no effective repair.

To address the breakdowns that contributed to this tragic accident, the museum is...

  • Making changes in staffing.
  • Retraining and cross-training aquarium and facility staff on inspecting and assessing the habitat.
  • Developing new dive checklists.
  • Instituting new record keeping, reporting and communications protocols.
  • Putting in place a new work order system for maintenance, repairs, and coordinating assistance from other departments.

Photo courtesy South Florida Museum

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