Dolphins of Tampa Bay

YouTube Preview Image

Ever wonder what it would be like to see dolphins in their natural environment? Well, if you head to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Florida you can sign-up to go on a tour of Tampa Bay and perhaps see the dolphins for yourself.  On 95% of the bay tours dolphins are spotted.  That is because approximately 500 bottle nose dolphins make Tampa Bay their home.  The average water depth of Tampa Bayis about 12 feet which is a just a little deeper than a backyard in-ground pool. Yet these dolphins are able to survive and thrive in these waters despite that Tampa Bay is also home to one of the busiest seaports in the southern United States.

Winter the Dolphin and Her Friends at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium

YouTube Preview Image

I was lucky to get a chance to meet Winter, the star of Dolphin Tale, her friends, and Cammie, the Senior Marine Mammal Trainer at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium who takes care of them.  Winter uses a prosthetic tail to move since hers was damaged and fell off after being tangled in a rope of a crab trap. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium helped Winter to heal and the engineers at Hanger Prosthetics continue to make her new prosthetic tails as she grows.

Not only is Winter’s story a remarkable story of perseverance, so is the story of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  It took the aquarium founders 11 years to find the current site, remodel it (since it use to a wastewater treatment facility), and then be able to welcome animals and guests!  If you get a chance, I highly recommend a visit.