Sunday, October 28, 2012

The mystery of the manatee

In 1999 or thereabouts, Steve and I met Snooty, the oldest living manatee in captivity.

He was living at the Parker Manatee Aquarium in Bradenton, Fla. He had recently celebrated his 50th birthday.

That's a long time for a manatee to live, so when we left the aquarium, we bid Snooty solemn farewell. We were certain Snooty wouldn't live much longer.

Earlier this year, I took Cooper and Katie to the same aquarium. And, wouldn't you know it, Snooty was still there, swimming in a big pool, eating obscene amounts of romaine lettuce, showing off to curious visitors.

Snooty on his 63rd birthday
(Photograph: Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)
Snooty is now 64 years old. You can read more about him here. And during daytime hours you can watch him here.

Cooper and Katie admire Snooty in March

Snooty, left, goes in for some fresh food.

Big (pretend) hugs for Snooty

A couple of weeks ago at church, I was talking about our blubbery friend Snooty. (Katie insists he's not fat but rather plump.)

This morning at church I put my purse down, made sure Katie was settled then returned to the Narthex to help Cooper get ready for his role as acolyte.

When I returned to my seat, I saw this.

I opened the bag to find this.

Inside the bag:

I love it!

It wasn't signed. The giver remains a mystery. Thank you!

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