ANIMAL rights activists have tried to capitalise on the sad death of a much-loved sea cow.
The 69-year-old animal known as Snooty drowned in the South Florida Museum’s tank Snooty for the mammals – also known as manatees – after being stuck in a tunnel used to access the tank’s plumbing system.
Officials explained the tragedy happened after an access panel blocking the opening to the tunnel came loose allowing Snooty – a museum favourite – to get inside the tunnel.
Burt animal rights activists claimed his death wasn’t just a an accident but was caused by employees negligence.
Staff at the museum have been deeply saddened by the death and an investigation into Snooty’s death is now underway.
A museum spokesman said: “No one is more committed to the well-being of manatees cared for at the South Florida Museum than our team members.
“Without facts, it is not appropriate to speculate or make any allegations.
“When the review is complete and action steps are determined, the museum is committed to sharing the information publicly.”
Elise Matthes, President of Sarasota in Defence of Animals said: “We would like to see the protocol for the future care and safety of these manatees.”