Thousands sign petition to replace Florida Confederate statue with one of beloved dead manatee
© Twitter

More than 5,000 people have already signed an online petition calling for officials to replace a Florida Confederate memorial statue with one of a beloved manatee named Snooty that died in a “tragic accident” this week.

“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,” wrote Anthony Pusateri, who started the petition to the Manatee County Commission.

The petition states that a statue of Snooty would be a “more positive symbol” than the Confederate one in place at a courthouse. The statue is blocks from the aquarium where Snooty lived.

ADVERTISEMENT

Snooty, the oldest-known manatee in captivity, died Sunday at the South Florida Museum, days after his 69th birthday. Snooty was found in an underwater enclosure that was only meant to access plumbing for the museum’s exhibits, according to a statement obtained by CNN.

“Early indications are that a panel that is kept bolted shut had somehow been dislodged and that Snooty was able to swim in," according to the statement.

"Snooty's death was a heartbreaking accident and we're all quite devastated about his passing," Brynne Anne Besio, the museum’s CEO, said in the statement.