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Winter's Tale: How One Little Dolphin Learned To Swim Again

One winter morning off the coast of Florida a baby dolphin got caught in a crab trap, which strangled her tail. A fisherman saw she was in trouble and rescued her. But how could a dolphin survive without a tail? This is Winter's Tale.


It was December 10, 2005; there was only one fisherman - Jim Savage - braving the freezing temperatures on Mosquito Lagoon. That's when he noticed something strange among another fisherman's crab traps - a baby dolphin struggling to free herself from the netting. Jim spoke to her and tried to calm her as he cut her free from the line.



When Jim saw she was too tired to swim away, he called Florida's Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission to come rescue the dolphin. Once the group arrived they decided to call her Winter and take her back to the center to heal.


Winter was placed in a holding tank and determined to be two to three months old. She wasn't used to eating solid food like fish yet, so the team had to put a feeding tube in her throat. Soon, though, Winter learned how to eat from a bottle.



But there was some bad news. The rope that had been wrapped around Winter's tail when she was trapped had caused a lot of damage, and slowly started to flake off piece by piece. Eventually all that was left was a fleshy stump that would heal over time. But would the little dolphin be able to swim without her tail?


A dolphin's strong tail is what gives it speed in the water. Though Winter did eventually start to swim on her own, she didn't swim like other dolphins. Instead her tail stump swished from side to side like a fish (dolphins' tails move up and down). But it was amazing - Winter had taught herself an entirely original way to swim!



Soon it was time to start training Winter. She learned very well and quickly and learned how to trust and love the people who cared for her. Then it was time to make a new non-human friend, and she was introduced to Panama, another rescued dolphin. After just three days, the two become lifelong friends, completely inseperable.


Eventually, word about the disabled dolphin got it and Winter became pretty famous - everyone, disabled or not, could related to the dolphin. But her trainers were getting worried, because moving her tail stump side to side had prevented her muscles from growing properly.



That's when Kevin Carroll - a dolphin lover and maker of prosthetic limbs for people - stepped in. Along with a team of experts, vets, trainers and researchers, Kevin developed a new tail for Winter - something that had never been done before. Winter had to be retrained to use the device to swim properly, but with lots of hard work she did it!


Now Winter loves her new tail! She wears it for a few hours each day. And despite having so many fans come to see her, she seems to connect with each and every one - from children with prostheses to war veterans with amputated limbs to a little girl who didn't want to wear her hearing aid until she met Winter.



Despite losing her family, her home and, eventually, her tail, one thing has always remained the same about Winter: her uplifting spirit, her strength to go on and her ability to make the most out of every situation. As champion, inspiration and friend, >b>Winter is one little dolphin who gives people hope and teaches us that anything is possible.


Video: Winter The Dolphin


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What Is A Baby Dolphin Called?

  • A kid.
  • A baby dolphin, duh!
  • A calf.
  • A colt.

General In The Forums

jordand08
jordand08 posted in Say Anything:
Please stay on topic, if you have any more concerns you can comment either myself or kirsten. 
reply about 2 hours
jordand08
jordand08 posted in Say Anything:
"AlphaT" wrote: "jordand08" wrote: "AlphaT" wrote:Oh wow, a genuine trigger warning. Did the memes teach you nothing? First off, an actual warning. Take no action based on what you've read here without first consulting a mental health professional. Now, I have a lot of experience in mental illness. I have ADHD(Pre-DSMV), an anxiety disorder, and I've tested significant for bipolar (Pre-DSMV). My best advise is to find a therapist that you personally connect with. It's not about being comfortable, because a good therapist will challenge your thoughts, but you need to be able to accept those challenges. And to do that, you'll need a therapist that you mesh with. Aside from that, good medication can go a long way to helping you live with your mental issues. However, this isn't true for everyone, and it should be handled by a medical professional.  I'm sorry I found your comment rude. This post is not just about mental illnesses, and mental health is a universal thing that requires you to take care of yourself because you can't always see professionals because their isn't always easy access to them. Which is all clearly stated in the post. If you say something again on this post that's rude it will be reported I'm not sure what you mean by "rude". I mean, you found what I said to be rude, but you gave no reason why. If I don't know how to accommodate for your standards of rudeness, I feel like I'm doomed to repeat my trespass.  So, how exactly was I being rude? Your very first sentence. Yes its suppose  to be saracastic, but not everything has to be answered with as a joke, because some people take offense to it.
reply about 2 hours
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Say Anything:
"jordand08" wrote:"AlphaT" wrote:Oh wow, a genuine trigger warning. Did the memes teach you nothing? First off, an actual warning. Take no action based on what you've read here without first consulting a mental health professional. Now, I have a lot of experience in mental illness. I have ADHD(Pre-DSMV), an anxiety disorder, and I've tested significant for bipolar (Pre-DSMV). My best advise is to find a therapist that you personally connect with. It's not about being comfortable, because a good therapist will challenge your thoughts, but you need to be able to accept those challenges. And to do that, you'll need a therapist that you mesh with. Aside from that, good medication can go a long way to helping you live with your mental issues. However, this isn't true for everyone, and it should be handled by a medical professional.  I'm sorry I found your comment rude. This post is not just about mental illnesses, and mental health is a universal thing that requires you to take care of yourself because you can't always see professionals because their isn't always easy access to them. Which is all clearly stated in the post. If you say something again on this post that's rude it will be reported I'm not sure what you mean by "rude". I mean, you found what I said to be rude, but you gave no reason why. If I don't know how to accommodate for your standards of rudeness, I feel like I'm doomed to repeat my trespass.  So, how exactly was I being rude? 
reply about 2 hours
Kirsteeeeen
thanks for posting this Kristen. I think that it is a tough subject to talk about with other people and honestly I think it's good to talk about it in a moderate amount. Now that more pepole are being diagnosed with learning differences or some sort of other mental health disorder, I think that talking about it and informing people will only make it easier for people to feel less awkward or the odd man out. That's how I found about that I am not the only person in the room who has ADD. I'm more willing to come out and talk to people and discribe what I have to go through on a daily basis to raise awareness. School will always be hard for me so I look at my strengths to help push me forward in life.  Thank you for sharing! First of all I'd like to say I admire your bravery and I hope that things continue to improve. :) I agree, talking about it in a moderate amount is useful, as is reminding ourselves that mental health starts anybody, and that coping strategies and learning to love yourself are important no matter what, inside AND outside of a situation that would require therapy. It's also definitely helpful to know you're not the only one. And that there are so many successful people who have battled the same battles and still came out on top. Again, thank you. :)
reply about 3 hours
jordand08
jordand08 posted in Say Anything:
Oh wow, a genuine trigger warning. Did the memes teach you nothing?  First off, an actual warning. Take no action based on what you've read here without first consulting a mental health professional.  Now, I have a lot of experience in mental illness. I have ADHD(Pre-DSMV), an anxiety disorder, and I've tested significant for bipolar (Pre-DSMV).  My best advise is to find a therapist that you personally connect with. It's not about being comfortable, because a good therapist will challenge your thoughts, but you need to be able to accept those challenges. And to do that, you'll need a therapist that you mesh with.  Aside from that, good medication can go a long way to helping you live with your mental issues. However, this isn't true for everyone, and it should be handled by a medical professional.  I'm sorry I found your comment rude. This post is not just about mental illnesses, and mental health is a universal thing that requires you to take care of yourself because you can't always see professionals because their isn't always easy access to them. Which is all clearly stated in the post. If you say something again on this post that's rude it will be reported
reply about 3 hours