Winter, the star of the critically acclaimed Disney film “Dolphin Tale” who rose to fame through selfless and educational work to care for stranded dolphins, died Friday.
She was born in 1998, four years after her mother, Maxine, was rescued from the cold waters off the Florida Keys. In 2002, her grandmother, Belle, became stranded herself, and Winter was there to help her.
Winter and Belle, who are believed to be a pair, have remained in the spotlight since then through their work, which can be seen at DolphinSavingHistory.org.
Winter also appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” last year.
“You’re fearless, Winter,” DeGeneres said. “You don’t stop. You don’t stop. You continue on, you love ‘cause you believe in everybody. You represent nature so well because you think so highly of the unsung animal heroes who … take in a stranded dolphin, take them off the beaches, keep them warm, make sure they have food, sometimes they’re better off than people.”
Winter, who gave birth to a litter of dolphins at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in September 2017, was born to a female and a male. According to the aquarium, her kittens have become popular subjects for popular education programs.
Her family will be surrounded by family and friends for a memorial this weekend.
“These are special times for us,” said Nikki Engel, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. “Winter’s legacy lives on in so many aspects of our society. Her swimmer skills inspired people to take up water-based activities, the stowaway story led to the rescue of many stranded sea turtles, and her positive impact on the lives of many rescued animals continues today.”
Click here for more from The National Enquirer.