Clearwater Marine Aquarium announces week of winter memorials, its world-famous dolphin

Clearwater Marine Aquarium announces week of winter memorials, its world-famous dolphin


Click the picture

  • Image via Clearwater Marine Aquarium
  • Winter dolphin without its prosthetic tail

After more than a decade at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter the Dolphin passed away last week.

Her death, like her life, brought international attention to the small Gulf Coast marine animal rescue facility where she lived for a few months of her life. In the hours after her death was announced, he saw their pelvis Website down Under pressure of attention.

When Winter was rescued in late 2005, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium was still trying to weather the wave of negative attention it had faced since 2001, when its former star at the aquarium, Sunset Sam, died. Despite a twenty-year record of saving more than 400 marine animals, when the aquarium brought in a pair of sunburned dolphins, it was still operating out of the former sewage treatment plant, using the large concrete tanks that once contained On sewage now to rehabilitate marine animals.

Saving Winter wasn’t unique at first and seemed to be on par with many of the people who came before it. But after it turned out her tail couldn’t be saved, Pelvic worked with a prosthetic company to develop a one-of-a-kind prosthetic tail for her. Their innovative approach helped Winter bring international attention to the tiny rescue facility, and soon a crowd of fans flocked there to see the miracle dolphin for themselves. Winter has become an unofficial mascot for children with prosthetics. In the years that followed, the CMA took in countless numbers of these children, helping to facilitate the pilgrimage to the aquarium for some of them.

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Dolphin winter prosthesis developed - Image via Clean Marine Aquarium

  • Image via Clearwater Marine Aquarium
  • The prosthesis dedicated to Winter the Dolphin . has been developed

By 2008, Winter’s story had become a national sensation, with the aquarium raising more than $2 million to build a dedicated dolphin habitat. By this time, a book and a documentary film were in the works. Crowds continued to grow, and in 2011, Winter starred alongside Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman in the Hollywood thriller about her rescue and rehabilitation. A sequel in 2014 brought attention to two other dolphins in the aquarium, Mandy and Hope, but Winter remained the star of the aquarium. The Hollywood movie couple was filmed, in part, in the aquarium, ensuring that the sets remain for fans to visit.

By this time, it was clear that the increase in attendance wasn’t going to stop, so the aquarium embarked on the largest expansion in its history. Overcoming critics of its growing appeal, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium began its re-imagining in 2016 that has seen it double the size of its dolphin habitat, its teaching space triple in size, and the addition of 400 much-needed parking spaces to the structure.

Last year saw the expansion postponed, but a winter hotel opened nearby. Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club is a full-service beachfront hotel that’s an easy boat ride away from the aquarium. The eco-friendly hotel is full of playful gestures of winter and marine animals aided by the nearby aquarium.

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Initial art for the proposed new manatee exhibition for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium - image via Pure Marine Aquarium

  • Image via Clearwater Marine Aquarium
  • A new concept art for manatees is proposed at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

The aquarium’s $80 million expansion opened earlier this year. At the time, the nonprofit aquarium announced its next phase, the reworking of a former dolphin habitat into a natural-looking manatee rescue facility. It will be a home to marine animals that cannot be released back into the wild with a separate facility a few miles away designed for those with less demanding rehabilitation needs. This new $10 million upgrade was paired with the premiere of a documentary focused on aquarium rescue efforts. A party celebrating the decade since the first dolphin tail The film premiered in September, one of the aquarium’s first major events since the pandemic.
After years of playing catch-up with demand and interest, the aquarium was finally moving into a new phase with its marketing and educational efforts. Then came the news of Winter’s illness.

Initially thought to be a gastro-intestinal infection, the aquarium brought in marine animal experts from all over the country to help the sixteen-year-old dolphin. A week later it was clear that she wouldn’t. Prior to surgery on Thursday, November 11, Winter died of what they now believe was an intestinal torsion. The aquarium, which was already planning to close its doors in an effort to focus on winter recovery, was closed to give staff and volunteers time to privately mourn her death. It has since reopened amid crowds visiting the gallery dedicated to one of the most famous dolphins in history.

Instead of flowers, the aquarium is asking for donations to help them continue the rescue effort as they did with the winter. In the first 24 hours, more than 500 people donated more than $30,000.

The celebration of Life Celebrations will begin on November 20th with a special early morning gala for all active CMA staff, trainees and volunteers. The entrance fee to the aquarium has been reduced to $16 in honor of the winter season on November 20-21. Flower arrangements and visual tributes will be on display throughout the exhibition period. Shows of her original rescue and the Hollywood movie she starred in will also be shown throughout the weekend. Saturday evening will see a special memorial to CMA community partners and local leaders. This concert will also be broadcast live. Other commemorative activities will continue until November 24.

For those who can’t visit the aquarium, a special website, RememberingWinter.com, has been created for anyone to leave their memories or donate in her honor. Events throughout the week of the Memorial will also be broadcast live on the site.

Click to enlarge
Image via Clean Marine Aquarium

  • Image via Clearwater Marine Aquarium


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