Everyone loves a story of an underdog who faces amazing challenges and struggles to survive. In Tampa Bay, Winter the Dolphin is a hometown hero and our lovable underdog (or in this case, underdolphin), who overcame incredible odds just to live.
Winter’s story begins at three months old when a SeaWorld rescue team saved her from a crab trap. After a death-defying release, the young calf was brought to the Clearwater Marine Aqaurium for rehabilitation, however, they could not save her tail. With the help of Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, Inc. and CMA’s incredible team of marine mammal veterinarians and trainers, they created a prosthetic tail for Winter. And this incredible tale all happened here in Clearwater with CMA and Clearwater Beach as the backdrop for the motion picture film, A Dolphin Tale.
But Winter’s amazing tale continued when Hope arrived as we learn in the sequel, Dolphin Tale 2.
Only 2-3 months old, Hope was rescued very close to the same location where Winter was found five years earlier. Once again, the CMA’s amazing team of marine mammal veterinarians and trainers had to nurse a young and extremely dehydrated calf. Although the goal is to nurse marine animals to full recovery and release them back into the wild, Hope lacked the skills to survive. In the best interest of the dolphins, Winter now has Hope.
Dolphin Tale 2 movie splashes into theaters on September 12, although I will be attending a red carpet tour pre-screening and press junket event at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium this weekend. As a pre-screening swag gift to you, one of my readers can win a download of Gavin DeGraw’s new song “You Got Me”. To enter, leave a comment below. Download giveaway ends Wednesday, 11:59 pm.