A dolphin with a prosthetic tail, who became famous in the Dolphin Tale movies, died in a Florida aquarium despite efforts to treat a gastrointestinal abnormality.
among the 16-year-old female dolphin died while being held by experts who prepared it for a procedure at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where the marine mammal lived for years.
Veterinarian Dr. Shelly Marquardt said: “While we are moved by Winter’s death, we are comforted to know that our team has done everything possible to give her the best chance of surviving.”
Dr. Marquardt said the aquarium worked with specialists and experts on marine mammals from the United States, but the dolphin, which was in critical condition and declining, died while being held by nurses.
The statement said the aquarium will remain closed on Friday to give staff time to mourn.
It was previously said that Friday’s closure will allow workers to concentrate on the dolphin’s medical care with plans to reopen on Saturday.
With a heavy heart, CMA announced tonight that Winter the Dolphin had died around the 20th, while animal care experts from across the country were working to treat her gastrointestinal abnormality. The CMA family is destroyed.
Read more: https://t.co/23pbetCu1l pic.twitter.com/39KUcf2jpv
– Clearwater Aquarium (@CMAquarium) November 12, 2021
James “Buddy” Powell, president of the aquarium, told reporters Thursday that the facility’s staff and outside experts are doing everything possible to restore the dolphin to health.
Winter had previously experienced intestinal problems – not uncommon among dolphins – but such problems have never affected her so much, Mr Powell said on Thursday.
At the time, he said Winter was not responding to treatment as in the past, adding that there was no evidence that a dolphin had the coronavirus.
Winter was two months old when her tail became entangled in a crab trap near Cape Canaveral, which forced its amputation.
Dolphin Tale, which was published in 2011, chronicled Winter’s recovery and the unprecedented, protracted effort to fit her with a prosthetic tail.
The film, starring Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson, Morgan Freeman and Nathan Gamble, was mostly filmed at the Clearwater aquarium and surrounding Tampa Bay locations.
It put the non-profit aquarium, first opened in 1972 on the site of a former water treatment plant, on the map internationally.
“This place wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Winter,” Mr. Powell said.
Winter’s story of rehabilitation has become an inspiration for people around the world and the aquarium has received thousands of messages of support since Winter’s illness became known.