A petition calling for a Confederate memorial to be replaced with a statue of the world’s oldest manatee is circulating, according to a Monday report.
Nearly 4,000 petitioners are calling for a statue of Snooty the manatee, who passed away Sunday at nearly 70 years old, to take over a Confederate memorial in Bradenton, Fla., according to ABC Action News.
“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,” says Anthony Pusateri of Sarasota, Fla., the author of the petition. “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.”
“Snooty did 1,000,000x more for our community than the Confederacy,” reads the top-rated comment on the petition.
The Manatee County museum called Snooty’s death a “heartbreaking accident.” Museum officials reported that Snooty was found in an underwater access plumbing location which is regularly bolted shut.
“This petition has not been formally presented to Bradenton City Hall,” said Tim McCann, Bradenton’s public information officer, to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Also, the City of Bradenton does not have the authority to change a monument that’s located on the grounds of the Manatee County Courthouse. I believe that is the responsibility of the Manatee Clerk of Courts.”
City Councilman Gene Gallo also stressed that it was a county issue while speaking with TheDCNF.
“The South Florida Museum, where Snooty lived for most of his 69 years, is creating the memorial to Snooty on museum grounds where generations of fans grew to know and love him,” said Nicholas Azzara, information outreach manager for Manatee County, to TheDCNF. ”
“[The Confederate memorial] was paid through a private fundraiser and installed in the 1920s as a way for the children and grandchildren of fallen Civil War soldiers to remember their loved ones,” said Azzara, reporting that the county has not received any formal appeals to remove it. “There are no plans to remove it at this time.”
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