Dolphin, star of ‘Dolphin Tale,’ dies in Florida

Written by CNN Staff Writer

Winter, the dolphin formerly featured in the film “Dolphin Tale,” has died. She was 12.

Dolphin Conservation, which sponsors the Florida Aquarium where Winter lived, posted on Facebook about the dolphin’s death.

“It’s with a heavy heart we share this news… Winter has passed away. She was 12 years old,” the aquarium wrote.

It also posted a statement saying that the whale shark it houses with Winter had also died.

The aquarium said the cause of death for the marine mammal was pneumonia.

It thanked fans for their support in the wake of Winter’s death.

“There are no words that can properly express our profound loss, but we do know that Winter is in her home now enjoying her favorite foods and engaging in some of her favorite activities,” the statement said.

“Winter, you leave a legacy in the lives of those who knew you and in the hearts of all those who got to call you ‘friend.’ We will miss you. We love you.”

She played Winter Shaw in the 2010 film and returned to film “Dolphin Tale 2,” in which she also starred, in 2013.

“I love being able to stay at the Aquarium to help different people and kids have special memories of visiting and seeing Winter,” she said in a YouTube video released by the aquarium.

When she was younger, people came to the aquarium to see her, and now she’s “someone everybody wants to see,” she said.

Winter stayed with the aquarium for 30 years before her death.

Dolphin Day Care of Sarasota is where she once hung out, and Ollie the pet whale shark remembered her fondly.

“Winter was one of the best friends Ollie has had in 10 years, and his large community will miss her terribly,” they said in a statement.

Dolphin Day Care said that while Ollie died in 2011, Winter’s presence was “still felt.”

Winter’s final Facebook post, posted last week, expressed thanks to fans.

“Thank you everyone for your love and support, your care and support since I was rescued and sadly haven’t seen much of you lately. Most importantly, I’m a dolphin and not a human so when I die hopefully I will still be happy and can enjoy some nice clean water and some crackers,” she wrote.

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