Clearwater Marine Aquarium Team Unable To Save Winter The Dolphin
The aquarium had been working hard to save the famous dolphin, but Thursday evening needed to make the announcement nobody wanted to hear.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium became home to Winter in 2005 when she was about two months old. Her tail, because a crab trap line had gotten wrapped around it, was unable to be saved. The film “Dolphin Tale” was about the idea of creating a prosthetic replacement for her. She recovered and learned to swim with the fake tail. Her story became an inspiration to many.
Sadly, this week, her team had noticed a change in her behavior. She wouldn’t eat, and a blood test revealed a gastrointestinal infection. After several days of treatment, problems intensified. The CMA had planned to close Friday to focus on treating and saving Winter. The aquarium’s professional team, plus experts from around the country, were looking for way to save her life.
An updated statement was posted to the CMA website:
With heavy hearts, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium 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.
During preparation for a procedure, the CMA Animal Care team observed that Winter’s behavior and vital signs were declining. The medical team tried several life-saving efforts, but she died being held by her caregivers.
The statement continued:
“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,” said Veterinarian Dr. Shelly Marquardt, DVM, CVA. “I’m honored to work alongside such dedicated and talented professionals who gave their all for Winter.”
The CMA team expresses our deepest gratitude to the thousands of people from around the world who sent caring messages for Winter. She truly inspired hope and was loved by millions of people worldwide.
Winter, we love you.
The statement also said that the facility would be closed Friday for the staff to grieve, and that a counselor would be available to the staff. There will be an announcement at a later date about a memorial for Winter.
Clearwater Beach sunsets…