Winter, dolphin with prosthetic tail, dies at 16

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Monday, November 15, 2021

Winter the dolphin in 2011.
Image: User:Ula0601.

Winter, the dolphin who starred in the Dolphin Tale movies, died Thursday night at the age of 16 as the result of a twisted intestine, according to a release on Saturday by the aquarium Winter called home.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium said in a statement that there was nothing veterinarians could do as a dolphin's intestines are in an area that it is not possible to reach through surgery. They noted that the condition is found in dolphins "as well as any living being with intestines."

Winter had been an inspiration to fans and visitors after her tail was amputated as the result of an entanglement in the wild. This cause of death determination comes after Dr. Buddy Powell, the president of Clearwater Marine Aquarium, called Winter's continued survival a "medical marvel" and said in a statement Friday that the aquarium would be performing a necropsy to confirm the precise cause of death.

Winter's intestinal issues were first discovered on November 1 when Winter showed a lack of appetite; her condition did not improve with treatment. A memorial is scheduled to take place on November 20.