CLEARWATER, Fla. – Winter, the prosthetic-tailed dolphin that starred in the “Dolphin Tale” movies, died during treatment on Thursday, according to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
“Winter the Dolphin died at approximately 8 p.m. as animal care experts from around the country worked to treat her gastrointestinal abnormality. The CMA family is devastated,” the aquarium said in a statement.
Earlier on Thursday, tests showed Winter was dealing with additional intestinal abnormalities after being diagnosed with a possible infection.
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The Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced it will close on Friday to provide time for the staff to grieve. A grief counselor will be made available for the staff.
Winter was 16 years old, but when she was just 2 months old, she lost her tail after being in a crab trap. “Dolphin Tale” chronicled Winter’s recovery using a prosthetic tail.
Winter has lived at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium since 2005.
Aquarium officials said no other animals have shown signs of illness.