Dolphin Tale star Winter dies at age 16


The Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, who lost her tail flukes as a calf, was a beacon of hope for individuals with disabilities.

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Clearwater Marine Aquarium introduced Thursday evening the heartbreaking information that Winter the Dolphin has died after days of preventing a gastrointestinal an infection.

Caretakers of the 16-year-old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, made well-known by the “Dolphin Tale” film franchise, say they first seen she wasn’t performing like herself and had lost her urge for food on Nov. 1. They instantly started working to find out what was flawed.

But, regardless of remedies, her situation deteriorated.

She handed away round 8 p.m. She was surrounded by animal care consultants from throughout the United States. They’d been working to deal with her gastrointestinal points.

“The CMA family is devastated,” the aquarium wrote in a press release.

A spokesperson stated the marine animal hospital’s care staff seen her conduct and important indicators have been declining whereas she was being prepped for a process. Winter’s caretakers tried “several life-saving efforts,” however she died of their arms.

“While we are heartbroken by Winter’s death, we are comforted knowing that our team did everything possible to give her the best chance at survival. We worked with specialists and marine mammal experts from around the country to provide her with the best care available. Our staff worked around the clock during this challenging time,” wrote Veterinarian Dr. Shelly Marquardt, DVM, CVA. 

“I’m honored to work alongside such devoted and gifted professionals who gave their all for Winter,” Marquardt added.

Staff at Clearwater Marine Aquarium expressed their “deepest gratitude” to everybody all over the world who despatched caring messages for Winter.

“She truly inspired hope and was loved by millions of people worldwide,” CMA stated. “Winter, we love you.”

The aquarium shall be closed Friday, so its employees can grieve. A grief counselor is being made accessible.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium President Dr. James “Buddy” Powell introduced Friday {that a} memorial shall be held for Winter on Nov. 20. Details shall be introduced at a later date.


With heavy hearts, CMA introduced tonight that Winter the Dolphin died at roughly 8 p.m. as animal care consultants from across the nation labored to deal with her gastrointestinal abnormality. The CMA household is devastated.

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— Clearwater Aquarium (@CMAquarium) November 12, 2021

The staff is now working to do a radical necropsy to find out her reason behind demise and study extra about how this “medical marvel” thrived at CMA for thus a few years, Powell added.

“We are absolutely committed to her legacy,” Powell stated.

According to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter had intestinal abnormalities earlier than, simply not this critical. Her intestines and organs have been misplaced from dropping her tail flukes, which can have been a contributing issue to the current well being points that in the end claimed her life.

Veterinary employees supplied around-the-clock care to Winter as soon as she fell sick, however her situation didn’t enhance it doesn’t matter what they tried. CMA would later label her situation to be “critical” on Nov. 10 after her intestinal points “intensified.”

The nation’s high veterinary specialists have been consulted in her closing days, as CMA explored all attainable choices to avoid wasting her life.

“On behalf of the CMA staff and Winter’s care team, we thank everyone for the incredible outpour of love and support you have shown Winter since her rescue in 2005 and especially these last few days. Many are inspired by her resiliency and this amazing response reminds us of how deeply she has affected millions, including so many on their own health journey,” CMA wrote in a earlier assertion.

Winter’s story has impressed these close to and much after she was rescued on Dec. 10, 2005, in a spot referred to as Mosquito Lagoon. It’s on Florida’s east coast, not that removed from Cape Canaveral.

A fisherman named Jim Savage was out on his boat when he noticed a crab lure buoy that was bobbing in opposition to the present. When he went to analyze, he discovered Winter, at the time a dolphin calf, wrapped up within the rope of that crab lure.

Following her rescue, Winter was taken to Clearwater Marine Aquarium the place caretakers got here to a heartbreaking realization. The rope of that crab lure had been so firmly wound round her peduncle that it had minimize off all of the blood provide to her tail flukes.

But the tough state of affairs did not maintain Winter down.

Together, the employees at Clearwater Marine Aquarium watched as Winter healed with out her tail flukes and discovered a brand new technique to swim on her personal. Unlike the up-and-down tail movement she’d finished earlier than, she discovered the way to wiggle aspect to aspect – swimming extra like a shark historically would.

As her survival story made nationwide headlines, it was seen by a person named Kevin Carroll, who’s vp of decrease extremity prosthetics at the Hanger Clinic. He teamed up with Dan Strzempka, the realm clinic supervisor, to develop a prosthetic tail that Winter might use for a few of her day.

In utilizing it, she might work her muscle tissues within the up-and-down movement, serving to decrease the unfavourable bodily results of her side-to-side swimming sample.

Ever since, she impressed aquarium guests together with her resiliency.

Winter gave hope to individuals with prosthetics. She wore her prosthetic tail throughout bodily remedy periods together with her care staff.

Winter was the star of “Dolphin Tale,” which hit the large display screen in 2011. The Hollywood movie attracted main movie actors, together with Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson and Harry Connick Jr. Three years later, “Dolphin Tale 2” was launched as a sequel.