CLEARWATER, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Two of Tampa bay’s favorite dolphins celebrated their birthdays over weekend. Winter and Hope, two rescued dolphins at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium turned 15 and 10.
“[Winter] is the one that’s turning 15 tomorrow. She came to our facility back in 2005. Now, at that time, she was estimated to be about 2 to 3 months old and that’s how we can get her birth date. She was found on December tenth, so that’s why tomorrow, October 10th will be her birthday,” said Allison Twedt, Animal Care Specialist, Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Winter is widely known for having her prosthetic tail and for starring in the 2011 movie, Dolphin Tale. “She was entangled in that crab trap rope which was tightly wrapped around her tail, unfortunately cutting off all the blood circulation, so she did end up losing her tail flukes and that’s why she has no tail to this day. But she was able to adapt, figure out how to swim on her own,” said Twedt.
Hope turned 10 on Sunday. “She was actually found 5 years and 1 day after Winter, so back in 2010,” she said. Hope was estimated to be the same age when she was rescued at 2 to 3 months old, landing her birthday on October 11th. “Now for hope, she was found without her mom, and at such a young age, they’re not able to survive on their own at that young just because they need those survival skills such as hunting, learning how to communicate, and their mother teaches them those skills,” said Twedt.
The community was invited to be part of the weekend-long birthday bash. “The animal care specialists will be diving with them doing some enrichment, some birthday festivities and then at 2:00[pm], they will be receiving their birthday cakes on both Saturday and Sunday,” Twedt told CW44 News on Friday. “We actually made their birthday cake, Winter’s, I guess I should say, and we’re going to be setting it up [Friday], making sure it looks nice and pretty. But we make that out of ice and then Jell-o. It’s sugar free so it’s not like the Jell-o that we eat.”
Guests brought birthday cards and presents for the two dolphins from their pre-made wish list.