Winter the dolphin dies


Eve Murdick

After being at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium for 16 years, Winter the Dolphin passes on Nov. 11.

Winter the Dolphin passed away on Thursday, Nov. 11 at her home at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Prior to being brought to the aquarium, Winter’s tale was injured. The rope in which Winter was entangled cut off the supply of blood to her tail, necessitating its amputation. 

When Winter was brought to the aquarium in 2005, she was able to learn how to swim with a prosthetic replacement made for her in 2007. Her journey and recovery inspired the documentary ‘Dolphin Tale’, released in 2011. 

“’Winter was an extraordinary creature. She inspired millions of people all over the world with her courage, her fortitude, and her joy. She may no longer be with us in body, but her indomitable spirit will continue on through the lives of all those that she touched,’ Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson said. ‘We are deeply honored to have been a part of telling her amazing story to so many fans across the globe,” CNN said. 

The team of 15 veterinarians at the aquarium was planning to treat gastrointestinal blockage, but they noticed vital signs declining. There is no concrete evidence of the cause of death, but it is presumed to be caused by heart failure. The aquarium said Winter passed at about 8 p.m. as a veterinarian was prepping her for a surgery they hoped would save her. 

“With heavy hearts, Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced that Winter the Dolphin passed away on Nov. 11, 2021, due to an intestinal abnormality,” the CMA website said.

The aquarium remained closed until Friday in order to give staff time to grieve. Counselors were are also on hand at the aquarium. There was a memorial held on Nov. 20. 

“The news of Winter’s death brought an emotional response throughout the Bay Area, where the famous dolphin was a fixture. Powell said the entire staff was touched by the ‘heartwarming’ messages that had been filling social media since the announcement,” Fox News 13 said.