Bottlenose Dolphin Who Starred in Dolphin Tale Films in Critical Condition, Aquarium Says
The bottlenose dolphin, who was the star of the Dolphin Tale films, is in critical condition, a Florida Aquarium said on Thursday.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced in a statement that it would be temporarily shutting its doors to treat Winter, its 16-year-old prosthetic-tailed dolphin who is currently suffering from a gastrointestinal infection.
"Today, test results show that despite treatment her intestinal abnormalities have intensified, making Winter's condition critical," the aquarium said in its statement.
Earlier this week, the aquarium said that Winter's trainers had noticed she was not interested in eating, and "wasn't acting like her normal self." The infection was discovered through blood work.
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The Clearwater Marine Aquarium will be bringing in top experts from across the United States to explore treatment options for Winter.
The aquarium added that they want "to focus that vital care for Winter and to create the best possible environment for her medical team," prompting them to close the facility to the public on Nov. 12.
However, the facility plans to reopen at 10 a.m. on Nov. 13.
"Many are inspired by [Winter's] resiliency and this amazing response reminds us of how deeply she has affected millions, including so many on their own health journey," the aquarium said.
Winter was rescued by the aquarium off the coast of Florida in 2005. In 2011, she starred in Dolphin Tale alongside Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. She reprised her role for Dolphin Tale 2 in 2014.
The films are inspired by Winter's true story. She lost her tail after she became entangled in a rope that was attached to a crab trap. Once she was rescued, she was fitted for a prosthetic tail.
"During Winter's time living at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, she's thrived, and her story of survival has inspired millions of people around the world," another statement from the facility reads. "She continues to show a strong, determined, and fighting spirit, and her resiliency continues to inspire us all."