Those who worked with ‘Winter’ the dolphin remember her

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

Winter the dolphin inspired millions of people around the world. None more than those who worked with her in the creation of the film “Dolphin Tale.”

Now, millions of hearts around the world are broken due to her death. She was battling a gastrointestinal disease this week. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium says a necropsy is being performed to determine exactly what caused her death.

Winter was an icon who shared a story with so many. Kevin Moody was a stand-in for the movie “Dolphin Tale.”

“She lived an incredible life and I know inspired a lot of many other people amputees,” Moody said.

He has a different relationship with her than many of her fans. “I was probably only in the water with Winter, maybe a handful of times, but you know, very gentle kind creature.”

Moody is a Southwest Florida native that calls Port Charlotte home. He was also a stand-in for the main character.

Dolphin Tale was a movie about Winter’s life, including her getting a prosthetic tail.

“Her story is just amazing. It’s very inspiring,” said Moody.

Wayne Sallade is the former director of the Charlotte County Emergency Operation Center who also made his own big debut alongside Winter and Moody.

He was an extra on the set of “Dolphin Tale” and her loss sticks with him.

“It’s very sad to think that she’s gone after everything that she had endured and had gone through and what a remarkable legacy that creature leaves having given so much to youngsters and more veterans and others who had lost limbs and it’s just a phenomenal story,” said Sallade.

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium says it’s planning a memorial for Winter on November 20. Teams from across the country came to Florida to care for her. The aquarium was closed Friday to mourn her loss.

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