The South Florida Museum posted a Facebook message Sunday saying that the beloved manatee had died in a heartbreaking accident.
No other details were given about the cause of death, but the Bradenton museum says staffers are devastated and that the circumstances are being investigated.
Sources later said that it is believed he somehow got through to a maintenance area of his pool and could not get out.
Brynne Anne Besio, CEO of the museum, said that an access panel had been knocked loose and he swam into the area where the plumbing is based.
Three other manatees, Randall, Baca and Gale, were all fine.
Snooty had previously been in good health, eating about 80lbs of lettuce and vegetables every day to sustain his 1,000lb body. He loved to greet his visitors and ham it up for the cameras.
Snooty was born in Miami and has never lived in the wild.