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In lieu of flowers
Personal note from Clearwater Marine Aquarium
With heavy hearts, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced on Thursday night that 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.
During preparation for a procedure, the CMA Animal Care team observed that Winter’s behavior and vital signs were declining. The medical team tried several life-saving efforts, but she died being held by her caregivers.
“While we are heartbroken by Winter’s death, we are comforted knowing that our team did everything possible to give her the best chance at survival. We worked with specialists and marine mammal experts from around the country to provide her with the best care available. Our staff worked around the clock during this challenging time,” said Veterinarian Dr. Shelly Marquardt, DVM, CVA. “I’m honored to work alongside such dedicated and talented professionals who gave their all for Winter.”
The CMA team expresses our deepest gratitude to the thousands of people from around the world who sent caring messages for Winter. She truly inspired hope and was loved by millions of people worldwide.
Winter, we love you.
CMA will be closed on Friday to provide time for our staff to grieve. A grief counselor will be made available to the team.
Plans for a memorial for Winter, honoring the positive impact she made on the world, will be announced soon.
Update from Jan. 13, 2022
Today, Winter the Dolphin made her return to the sea. Encased in a Himalayan sea salt urn, the ashes of Winter were released into the Gulf of Mexico by her animal care staff aboard the U.S. Coast Guard’s 45-foot Response Boat.
In her honor, there was a C-130 flyover by the Coast Guard to begin the ceremony-at-sea. A poem was read in her memory before her ashes were released. Flower petals of roses and orchids were also released into the Gulf and the team blew bubbles, honoring one of Winter’s favorite enrichment activities.
We would like to thank all of Winter’s fans who have shared their love and supported CMA during this time. Together we will keep her inspiration alive forever. Her legacy will continue at Clearwater Marine Aquarium with an onsite memorial for visitors, virtual experiences, and an endowment in Winter’s honor that will safeguard indefinite support of CMA. We look forward to welcoming all to visit and share her memory at CMA and continuing her legacy with future generations.
Learn more about Winter's lasting legacy at WinterTheDolphin.com
Update from Jan. 10, 2022
Give a gift to Winter’s Legacy Endowment and secure a meaningful future for Clearwater Marine Aquarium to continue our mission of preserving the environment while inspiring the human spirit. Your endowment gift will ensure we remain a leader in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine life; along with environmental education; research; and conservation for years to come.
Family is Forever
With the heaviest of hearts, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium family shares the loss of Winter the Dolphin. CMA cared for Winter since her rescue in 2005 after becoming entangled in a crab trap line and losing her tail. Showing resilience and strength, she defied all odds.
Throughout her time with us, she thrived, and her story of survival inspired millions of people around the world. From her countless “Dolphin Tale” fans to …