Dolphin Tale star Winter dies at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium following days of sickness

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Winter the dolphin plays in the water at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Sunday, June 17, 2018, in Clearwater, Fla. The Florida aquarium will temporarily close to treat its resident prosthetic-tailed dolphin that starred in the “Dolphin Tale” movies. The famous marine mammal is now in critical condition from a suspected infection. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium said in a statement it will shut its doors Friday, Nov. 12, 2021 “to create the best possible environment” for medical staff to treat Winter, a 16-year-old female bottlenose dolphin suffering from a gastrointenstinal infection. (Jim Damaske/Tampa Bay Times via AP, file)

Winter the Dolphin died on Thursday night at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium after battling what experts say was a gastrointestinal abnormality.

The aquarium said Winter died while being held by her caregivers after they made several attempts to save her life. She was 16-years-old.

Winter was the star of the 2011 movie Dolphin Tale and has spent her retirement at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater.

The aquarium said in a statement on their website Thursday:

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 aquarium said it will be closed on Friday to allow staff to grieve.

They said they will soon announce plans for a memorial to Winter to honor her positive impact on the community.

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