TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The loss of Winter the Dolphin has not only been felt by the Tampa Bay community but by individuals worldwide.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced Thursday evening that Winter passed away following a battle with gastrointestinal abnormalities.
Prior to Winter’s death, veterinarian specialists from all across the country and world worked with animal care experts at CMA in hopes of finding an option to save the 16-year-old dolphin. Now, the same support and love but from community members and fans continue to pour in.
“She has brought so much to so many, now she’s just going to swim in that ocean in the sky forever and she’ll have her tail back,” Riana Vorster told 8 On Your Side’s Chip Osowski.
The aquarium has now set up an Ever Loved website in honor of the “Dolphin Tale” star which features a timeline of Winter’s life events, such as when she first wore her prosthetic tail to meeting her friends Hope and PJ for the first time. It also includes memories and condolences posted by fans of Winter, and a spot to contribute a gift to the aquarium.
“Though Winter’s time with us has come to an end, her spirit and inspiration will continue to live on in our hearts forever,” Winter’s obituary read.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium has asked for those touched by the beloved dolphin to share their stories via the Remembering Winter website.
Staff members say plans for a memorial for Winter will be announced soon.