Winter the Dolphin and her adopted mother Panama now have a new place to call home, a 40 feet round and 18 feet deep pool, giving the girls more room to work with their trainers, and more room for Winter to work with her prosthetic tail. The dolphins will now be able to double the number of daily dolphin shows to six shows per day.
Underwater viewing windows are accessible next to the stingray exhibit downstairs.
Indy and Nicholas, the male dolphins, will remain inside their old tank, but will also be receiving extra space with Winter and Panama’s move, since the vacant tank will be used to give the boys more room to play.
Winter and Panama’s new home will also double as a stranding pool for rescued dolphins. When a new arrival needs the space, Winter and Panama will be moved back to their old pool, so the sick or injured dolphin can recover.
The ribbon on the new pool was cut with the assistance of Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates; Former Clearwater Mayor and Clearwater Marine Aquarium Director of Government and Corporate Affairs Brian Aungst; Clearwater City Councilman George Cretekos; Maja Kazazic, a Bosnian who lost a leg in the war and is now inspiring people similar to Winter, and uses the same gel in her prosthetic as Winter does; Board Member Frank Chivas, Clearwater Marine Aquarium donor Dick Jacobson, and Chairman of the Board of Directors Tom Orr.
After the ribbon was cut, Winter and then Panama were relocated to their new home with the help of Clearwater Marine Staff, volunteers and a board member, who transferred the dolphins from one pool to another on a stretcher.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which has received national and international attention from Winter the Dolphin and her amazing story, is showing no signs of slowing down. Within the next few weeks, they will be opening a sea turtle rehab area, with nine new pools. After they have completed this project, they will turn their attention towards acquiring the empty lot next door to the aquarium, as well as the basin near by. This would allow them to build an educational center, as well as expand their rehabilitation area, no longer require them to move Winter and Panama when a new dolphin came in, and allow marine animals to recover in their natural habitat.
For more information on the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, visit www.seewinter.com.