A denizen of Bradenton, Florida, is petitioning the city to replace a memorial to Confederate soldiers with one for a beloved, recently-deceased manatee named Snooty (1948-2017), considered to be a local hero. Until his recent death, Snooty was the world’s oldest captive manatee. As of the article’s press time, the petition had received over 11,000 signatures. Hyperallergic reports:
[. . .] He had celebrated his 69th birthday last weekend with a four-tiered fruit and veggie cake — but died just two days later in a tragic accident, when he drowned after getting stuck in an underwater hatch at his home, the city’s Parker Manatee Aquarium. [. . .]
To remember Snooty, Bradenton local Anthony Pusateri launched a Change.org petition calling on the city to erect a memorial to the 1,300-pound Snooty; it would stand in place of an obelisk outside the Manatee County Courthouse that was dedicated in 1924 to “the memory of our Confederate soldiers,” specifically Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis. It’s located just a five-minute walk from the aquarium.
“To honor Snooty’s legacy as a positive icon in Bradenton, I propose that the negative symbol of racism and oppression that is the Confederate monument be relocated and replaced with a statue of Snooty the Manatee,” Pusateri writes on the petition’s page. “By doing so, the Confederate monument could possibly be moved to a museum (or other more appropriate location) out of everyday public eye and a more positive symbol then take its place.”
Addressed to the Manatee County Commission, which controls the statue’s fate, the petition has received over 11,000 signatures as of press time. Its page is filled with individuals’ memories of Snooty as well as messages from people around the country who describe the obelisk as a symbol of hate. [. . .]
For full article, see https://hyperallergic.com/392350/snooty-manatee-confederate-monument-florida/