VIDEO: Winter, the prosthetic-tailed dolphin that starred in the 'Dolphin Tale' movies, died Thursday, aquarium officials said
[YouTube Screenshots/Fair Use/Credit: WPTV]

Winter the Dolphin, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s main attraction and the star of the film “Dolphin Tale,” has passed away at 16. Winter was battling a possible gastrointestinal infection.

The aquarium said Winter’s condition was determined to be “critical” Wednesday evening, and she was receiving treatment from some of the top veterinary specialists in the nation who were exploring all avenues to save her life.

CMA has planned for a memorial for Winter on November 20.

David Yates, the former CEO of the aquarium, was one of the first to find out. He spent 14 years with Winter and showed “Dolphin Tale” at a conference in Orlando when he got the news.
“It broke me, literally.

When I got the call that Winter passed away, the news hit me hard. Even though I knew it was coming,” he said. “You know it’s like one of your kids dying. Winter was — I have a real daughter in real life — and Winter was my second daughter.”

Yates says he has been getting texts from thousands of kids with disabilities impacted by Winter’s story. One woman that reached out was struggling with suicidal thoughts and credits Winter for saving her life.

“She said I’m going to take my own life, and she has literally watched ‘Dolphin Tale’ that night or the next day and turned her life around,” Yates said.

Winter was two months old when her tail became entangled in a crab trap near Cape Canaveral, which forced its amputation. “Dolphin Tale,” released in 2011, chronicled Winter’s recovery and the unprecedented, lengthy effort to fit her with a prosthetic tail.

“They saw this young dolphin who refused to give up and said, ‘You know what, if this dolphin can do this, I can do this,’” said Yates.
And that will be a big part of Winter’s legacy, along with the aquarium as we know it today.

“Her tail prints are all over the aquarium forever,” Hibbard said.

It serves as a reminder of Winter’s fighting spirit that will continue to inspire for years to come.​



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here