BRADENTON, Fla. — A Florida museum where a 69-year-old manatee got trapped in a maintenance tube and drowned has reopened to the public.

A Bradenton Herald report says a small crowd brought cards and sweet potatoes to the South Florida Museum on Tuesday for a memorial to the manatee.

Officials said the 1,000-pound (450-kilogram) marine mammal got in the 30-by-30 inch (75-by-75 centimeter) tube Sunday but was not able to turn around. Manatees can stay underwater for 20 minutes but cannot swim backward.

The death remains under investigation. Museum spokeswoman Jessica Schubick said security cameras were operating in the manatee habitat, but the tank is kept dark at night. Officials said the panel covering the tube was last opened five years ago.

The museum says Snooty was certified in 2015 as the longest-living manatee in captivity.


Information from: The Bradenton (Fla.) Herald , http://www.bradenton.com

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