Winter ‘Dolphin Tales’ Animal Star Dies

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Winter the mammal inspired the story behind the movie “Dolphin Tales” has passed away. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced the beloved animal’s death late Thursday evening. She was being prepped to be treated for a gastrointestinal abnormality at the time of her death.

The aquarium’s animal care team noticed her vital signs and behavior started to decline as they were preparing Winter for a procedure. She passed away as her caregivers held her and the medical team attempted to save her.

Winter
Courtesy of Imagine Communications (Flickr CC0)

When she was a young dolphin, Winter lost her tail in a crab trap. Prosthetic limb designer, Dan Strzempka, heard the heartbreaking tale; he wanted to help the dolphin. He traveled to Fort Myers, Florida roughly 16 years ago. There he met up with a few amputees and his colleague and tail design partner, Kevin Carroll.

Their story was told alongside Winter’s in the 2011 movie “Dolphin Tales.” A little over five years later “Dolphin Tale 2” was created to share more of her tale of finding a new swim-mate, Hope.

Earlier in the week, Clearwater Marine Aquarium took performed a few tests on Winter. Her results came back saying that she was most “likely fighting a gastrointestinal infection.” They proceeded to administer treatment for the beloved animal, however, further testing showed her abnormalities had intensified, placing her in critical condition.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s dedicated animal care experts consulted with veterinary specialists and top animal care in the United States and explored all possible options to save the dolphin’s life. It is the facility’s top priority to ensure all the animals in their care receive the best possible care regardless of whether they are rescued or residential animals.

Winter’s story inspired children and adults who lived with disabilities all over the world. Seeing how she was able to adapt and thrive to her new way of life gave them a new outlook on their own life.

Written by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

Clearwater Marine Aquarium: Winter Updates

Warner Bros.: Dolphin Tale

NBC-2 News: ‘Dolphin Tale’ star Winter passes away after battling infection

USA Today: Doctor who helped famous dolphin has his own tale; by Craig Handel

Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Paul’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of Imagine Communications’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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