Dolphin Tale: photography from Winter's actual aquarium

My wife and son recently watched the movie Dolphin Tale, so that inspired a trip to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium last weekend. I didn't know what to expect because I hadn't seen the movie, and I only knew a little bit about Winter, the dolphin who stars in the movie. I really enjoyed my trip to the aquarium because it was quite heartwarming to see Winter. I must admit it was a little sad as well. When we were there Winter wasn't wearing her prosthetic tail. She can swim OK without her prosthesis, but she's obviously handicapped. Winter lost her tail after it became tangled with a rope attached to a crab trap in the sea. As it turns out, she only wears the prosthesis for about 20 minutes twice a day as a form of exercise. The prosthesis helps her muscles stay strong to prevent her spine from curving further. I was surprised at the severity of her spine curvature. She has a remarkable story and I'm happy that the movie has brought new-found fame for Winter and the aquarium because they depend heavily on the revenue drawn from paid admission as well as donations. I would have posted more pictures of Winter, but she didn't do much other than relax as you see below. Winter relaxing in her tank at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Below is a picture of Nicholas, another dolphin from the movie who actually plays a girl character.

Although seeing Winter was great, I really thought these sea otters stole the show when they cuddled on a blanket in their habitat. I couldn't get over how adorable they were. They only cuddled for a few minutes, and fortunately I was there to capture the moment.

sea otters cuddling

sea otters cuddling