winter the dolphin

Winter The Dolphin Will Be Missed By Many

It’s a truly sad day when people around the world have a reason to mourn together. This isn’t a loss that will affect only a few. It affects everyone who came to see her because Winter the Dolphin had a way of putting a smile on everyone’s face.

With heavy hearts, CMA announced tonight that Winter the Dolphin died at approximately 8 p.m. as animal care experts from around the country worked to treat her gastrointestinal abnormality. The CMA family is devastated. @CMAquarium

Winter’s story begins with a fisherman named Jim Savage. He’s the one who found her entangled in a crab trap off the Florida coast in 2005. Her tail’s circulation had been badly cut off and would never make it through any kind of medical procedure that could possibly save it.

winter the dolphin
Reunited With Jim Savage

Winter was taken to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium where many people in the industry advised that she would never make it. It was strongly suggested to euthanize. But something kept them from doing it. The mission of the CMA is all about rescue. They don’t know how to give up and Winter didn’t either.

The dolphin with the prosthetic tail became an inspiration to people from all over the world. Some people came to Clearwater just to see the tail and see how it worked. But there were others who were truly inspired by Winter to keep going in their own struggles. Ellie Challis is one such special person who was inspired greatly by Winter. She contracted meningitis when she was just an infant and she had to fight for her life. She was able to pull through, but she lost all her limbs as a result.

winter the dolphin

Because of Winter, Ellie has taken up swimming herself with dreams of becoming a Paralympic athlete. It’s stories like Ellie’s that make Winter so special. So special that she was the star of her own movie, Dolphin Tale. She starred alongside such huge names as Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, and Harry Connick Jr. But if you asked them, I would imagine they would all agree she was the star of the show. There was even a Dolphin Tale 2 because the first one was so successful.

It’s that fighting spirit Winter the Dolphin instilled in others. They came from all over the world to see her, and they each had a story of their own. Winter will be greatly missed, but she will never be forgotten as Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard put it, “Her tail prints are all over the aquarium forever.”

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Michael Allen is the author of the newly released novel The Deeper Dark - When Haven Kayd returns home after being a POW for years, he returns to a world that has moved on without him. As he's playing catchup, the truth comes out about a scheme he was unknowingly the poster boy for and he learns about a hidden world that threatens everything he cares about. Available now at Amazon!