Mason Dixon

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Everyone knows Winter’s extraordinary story. Today, staff members from Clearwater Marine Aquarium released her back to the Gulf.

Winter’s story began in 2005 when she was found with her tail wrapped in a crab trap. Her tail couldn’t be saved, and without it, she could not have survived. The prosthetic tail created for her gave her the capability of swimming, though she could never be released back to the wild. She spent about 16 years at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where she became famous. Two movies were made about her story, which became an inspiration around the world.

Winter the Dolphin

From 2013, staff was involved with routine handling of Winter. (Andrew M./BBGI)

In November, 2021, Winter suffered an intestinal issue, and despite efforts to save her, she passed on November 11. It was discovered that a twisted intestine was what caused her death. The news, of course, saddened people around the world.

On Thursday, January 13, her ashes were released into the Gulf of Mexico. Winter’s ashes were released inside an urn made of Himalayan sea salt. The ceremony took place aboard the U.S. Coast Guard’s 45-foot Response Boat. The CMA staff members aboard released flower petals and a Coast Guard plane provided a flyover. You can see it all in the video below.

[Source: Clearwater Marine Aquarium]

Clearwater Beach sunsets…

Some shots I got last year when the Saharan dust paid Florida a visit.

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