‘Dolphin Tale’ star’s condition worsens, aquarium says

Winter the dolphin is being treated for an infection. Her condition has worsened recently,...
Winter the dolphin is being treated for an infection. Her condition has worsened recently, aquarium staff say.(Clearwater Marine Aquarium)
Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 10:01 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 6:36 AM EST
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UPDATED Nov. 11 at 7 a.m. with Winter’s deteriorating condition.

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WWSB) — The prosthetic-tailed dolphin that starred in the “Dolphin Tale” movies may be losing a battle with a gastrointestinal infection, officials said Wednesday.

In an update posted Nov. 10 on the Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s website, the latest tests show that “despite treatment her intestinal abnormalities have intensified, making Winter’s condition critical.”

Aquarium staff are consulting with top animal care and veterinary specialists, exploring options to save Winter’s life, the update said.

To focus on caring for Winter, the aquarium has announced it will be closed Friday, Nov. 13, with plans to reopen at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 13.

“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. 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,” the update said.

Staff members noticed on Nov. 1 that Winter was not eating and was acting abnormally. Initial bloodwork showed the possible infection.

Winter was just two months old when her tail became entangled in a crab trap near Cape Canaveral, on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. “Dolphin Tale,” which was released in 2011, chronicled Winter’s recovery and her journey using a prosthetic tail. Three years later, “Dolphin Tale 2″ also starred Hope, another rescued Dolphin cared for by the Clearwater aquarium.

Aquarium officials said no other animals or marine life at the facility have shown signs of illness.

-- Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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