Winter the dolphin’s illness has intensified and her condition is now critical, according to her caregivers at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
On Monday, the aquarium announced the “Dolphin Tale” star and beloved rescued dolphin was fighting a gastrointestinal infection. Winter’s animal care team noticed last week that she wasn’t eating or behaving normally. Tests indicated an infection, and Winter has been undergoing treatment ever since.
Now, the aquarium said it’s consulting with animal care experts from around the country and “exploring all possible options to save Winter’s life.”
“Today, test results show that despite treatment her intestinal abnormalities have intensified,” the aquarium said in a post on Twitter. The tweet also included a short video showing Winter’s team running tests and caring for the dolphin in and out of the water.
Earlier this week we shared that initial tests indicated Winter the Dolphin was likely fighting a gastrointestinal infection. Today, test results show that despite treatment her intestinal abnormalities have intensified.— Clearwater Aquarium (@CMAquarium) November 11, 2021
Read more: https://t.co/23pbetBWbN pic.twitter.com/APx3Bvq0gk
In an update posted to its website, the aquarium said it will be closed to guests on Friday to give space to the animal care team helping Winter. CMA will reopen at 10 a.m. Saturday.
“On behalf of the CMA staff and Winter’s care team, we thank everyone for the incredible outpour of love and support you have shown Winter since her rescue in 2005 and especially these last few days,” the aquarium wrote. “Many are inspired by her resiliency and this amazing response reminds us of how deeply she has affected millions, including so many on their own health journey.”
Dec. 5 will mark 16 years since Winter was rescued after being trapped in a crab line, which had cut circulation to her tail. While most dolphins, especially in the wild, wouldn’t survive without a tail, Winter was fitted with a prosthetic and thrived.
Her story became the inspiration for “Dolphin Tale” and “Dolphin Tale 2” starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr. And, both films were shot in Pinellas County.
The aquarium said it will share updates on Winter as they become available.
Send anonymous news tips to [email protected]. Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team works tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.