Hope Doubles Up

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Jim Damaske | Times

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Jim Damaske | Times

In 2005, Winter, a dolphin, was found in the Indian River Lagoon on Florida’s east coast with her tail wrapped in a crab trap line. The injury caused her to lose her tail. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium took her in and hope for many was born. A dolphin needs their tail to swim. Without her tale, Winter didn’t stand a chance. In response to her plight, scientists developed a newly devised prosthetic tail and Winter eventually learned to swim with the help of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Since then, she has helped many humans amputees gain hope for the future. There has even been a motion picture made about her story. Winter will always have to live at the Clearwater aquarium and dolphins shouldn’t be alone.

Hope, a 2-year-old Atlantic bottlenose was gravely injured at 2 months old in the same Lagoon as Winter. It was the same night that the movie Dolphin Tale wrapped up filming in Clearwater. Some of the cast and crew members stayed and watched Hope be resuscitated. After several years of recovery the staff at the aquarium felt it would be best to pair the dolphins up in the same pool. They are close in age and they thought the two would make good roommates. The two have become great companions and are playing together well.

These two dolphins provide a great example of hoping against all odds to have a rewarding life despite tremendous obstacles and having that hope fulfilled. People come from all over the world to see Winter and her prosthetic tail. Now that Hope has joined Winter, hope has doubled up and happiness abounds! If you haven’t seen the movie, Dolphin Tale, I highly recommend you see it. And if you happen to be in the Clearwater area stop by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and say hello.

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