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October 1, 2006

Dolphin To Receive Prosthetic Tail


Late last year a three-month-old baby Atlantic bottlenose dolphin got her tail caught in the lines of a crab trap near Cape Canaveral, Florida.

She was brought to the Clearwater (Florida) Marine Aquarium in December, 2005, dehydrated and with rope from the trap tangled in her mouth, pectoral fins and tightly around her tail.

Impaired blood supply to the tail eventually caused it to fall off, leaving the dolphin with a rounded stump (above and below).


"She has learned to swim using a combination of moves that are part shark and part alligator," according to a story in the September 29 Washington Post.

The dolphin, now named Winter, uses her flippers, normally employed for steering and braking, to get herself moving.

She's healthy and thriving, now four feet long and weighing 115 pounds.

Marine scientist Steve McCulloch, director of dolphin and whale research at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, is currently working with a company that makes prosthetic limbs for swimmers on an artificial tail for Winter, which would be the most extensive prosthetic ever placed in a dolphin.

Fuji, a dolphin in Japan, is the only dolphin known to have a prosthetic tail, which was connected to a remnant more extensive than Winter's.

October 1, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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The support for Winter and Clearwater Aquarium is really starting to "Snowball". We are an organic, non gmo tortilla chip company in Southern California. We started the company to provide funding for marine conservation. Our conversations with Dana Zucker , COO of Clearwater Aquarium and Stephen McCulloch of HBOI has convinced us to lend a hand in raising funds and awareness about the dangers of entanglement from fishing line left carelessly behind. I just got notification that several of the Clearwater Florida Resorts and Hotels are offering discounts if you walk in and tell the front desk "Winter" sent me. Talk about name dropping. Now if we can just get an airline to do that at checkin for a Free Upgrade to First Class, a restaurant to do it for a free bottle of wine, a tire store to give the fourth tire free when you buy three and mention that Winter sent you.....Then these organizations could pledge to help provide funding to Winter and Clearwater.

I will keep you posted of our progress.

An Ocean of Thanks for posting the story of Winter

Whale Tails Tortilla Chips

Posted by: ric | Dec 5, 2006 11:05:07 AM

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