‘Dolphin Story’ Star Winter Has Died At Clearwater Aquarium – CBS Miami

CLEARWATER (CBSMiami/AP) — Winter, the beloved prosthetic-tailed dolphin that stared within the “Dolphin Story” films, has died on the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

The 16-year-old feminine bottlenose dolphin had been critically in poor health with a gastrointestinal abnormality, aquarium officers stated.

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Winter died whereas being held by animal care specialists who have been making ready her for a process on the aquarium the place the well-known marine mammal has lengthy resided.

“Whereas we’re heartbroken by Winter’s demise, we’re comforted realizing that our group did every thing doable to offer her the most effective likelihood at survival,” stated veterinarian Dr. Shelly Marquardt, in an announcement launched by the aquarium.

Marquardt stated the aquarium labored with specialists and marine mammal specialists from across the nation however the dolphin, which was in vital situation and declining, died whereas being held by caregivers.

The assertion stated the aquarium would stay closed on Friday to supply employees time to grieve. It had earlier stated a Friday closure would enable employees to concentrate on the dolphin’s medical care with plans to reopen Saturday.

James “Buddy” Powell, president of the aquarium, advised reporters Thursday that the power’s employees and out of doors specialists have been doing every thing doable in search of to revive the dolphin to well being.

Winter beforehand skilled intestinal points — not unusual amongst dolphins — however such issues have by no means affected her like this, Powell had stated Thursday. However on the time, he stated Winter was not responding to therapy as previously, including there was no proof Winter had the coronavirus.

Winter was two months previous when her tail turned entangled in a crab lure close to Cape Canaveral, which pressured its amputation. “Dolphin Story,” which was launched in 2011, chronicled Winter’s restoration and the unprecedented, prolonged effort to suit her with a prosthetic tail.

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The movie, starring Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Morgan Freeman and Nathan Gamble, was largely shot on the Clearwater aquarium and surrounding Tampa Bay places. It put the non-profit aquarium, first opened in 1972 on the positioning of a former water therapy plant, on the map internationally.

“This place wouldn’t be right here if it wasn’t for Winter,” Powell stated.

Winter’s story of rehabilitation has turn out to be an inspiration for disabled individuals world wide and the aquarium has obtained hundreds of messages of help since Winter’s sickness turned identified.

“Many are impressed by her resiliency and this wonderful response reminds us of how deeply she has affected tens of millions, together with so many on their very own well being journey,” the aquarium assertion stated.

A sequel, “Dolphin Story 2,” was launched three years later starring Winter and Hope, one other rescued dolphin cared for by the Clearwater aquarium.

Bottlenose dolphins can reside as much as 60 years and are thought of some of the clever of all animal species.

Winter and Hope turned probably the most well-known residents of the Clearwater aquarium, which additionally operates sea turtle and manatee rescue packages.

An $80 million growth of the power was lately accomplished, together with a 1.5 million-gallon new dolphin complicated, to deal with the crowds which have descended on the aquarium since “Dolphin Story” was launched a decade in the past.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Related Press contributed to this report.)

https://miami.cbslocal.com/2021/11/12/dolphin-tale-star-winter-has-died-at-clearwater-aquarium/ | ‘Dolphin Story’ Star Winter Has Died At Clearwater Aquarium – CBS Miami

Huynh Nguyen

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