Winter the Dolphin, inspiration behind “Dolphin Tale” possibly fighting gastrointestinal infection


PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The team at Clearwater Marine Aquarium is keeping a close eye on the beloved dolphin we all know and love after noticing something wasn’t right.

Winter is the inspiration between the “Dolphin Tale” book and movie.

Team members noticed last Monday evening that Winter the Dolphin “wasn’t acting like her normal self” and was not interested in eating.

After initial bloodwork, CMA staff says Winter may be fighting a gastrointestinal infection.

“Our dedicated staff will continue to keep a close watch on her through this healing process and provide her with the highest quality of care,” the Clearwater Marine Aquarium said in a statement.

Winter became part of the CMA family after getting entangled in a crab trap line and losing her tail in 2005. Since then, the beloved dolphin has been an important part of the Tampa Bay community.

“Her story of survival has inspired millions of people around the world, and she continues to show a strong, determined, and fighting spirit,” a Facebook post from CMA read. “The team is doing everything they can to care for Winter, including monitoring her around the clock, and we will keep the public informed of any change in her condition.”

In the meantime, aquarium visitors will still be able to see Winter from the center’s third-floor Dolphin Terrace.

Those interested in sending notes of encouragement to Winter and the CMA team can do so by emailing

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