Sunday, May 20, 2018
News Roundup

Winter the dolphin gets a new roommate

CLEARWATER — Side by side, the two new roommates swam in circles and chirped for fish bits.

Hope, a 2-year-old Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, followed Winter, her internationally famous companion, around the Clearwater Marine Aquarium pool like an eager little sister.

The two had lived in separate pools at the aquarium until they moved in together about a week ago. On Thursday morning, the aquarium made their new living arrangement official with a special show for the public.

Trainers in wet suits crouched near the water, coaxing the dolphins to wave their fins and show their bellies.

Chief executive David Yates addressed the onlookers, who leaned on the rails around the pool and snapped pictures of the two dolphins with smartphones.

"This is a very special day," Yates said, "and we have a very special pairing."

The dolphins have similar stories, he explained. When Hope was 2 months old and gravely injured, she was rescued in the Indian River Lagoon on Florida's east coast — the same area where a fisherman found Winter wrapped in a crab trap line in 2005.

It was the same night the movie Dolphin Tale wrapped filming in Clearwater. Cast and crew members, who lingered at the aquarium, watched as specialists resuscitated the nearly dead calf.

"People thought we were still shooting," Yates said. "We were like, 'No! No! This is real life!' "

Today, after extensive rehabilitation at the aquarium, Hope is healthy and energetic.

Winter lost her tail because of her injuries, but she was rehabilitated at the Clearwater aquarium and eventually learned to swim with a custom-built prosthetic tail. She is the star of Dolphin Tale, which is loosely based on her story.

Until last week, Winter lived with only Panama, a dolphin in her 30s that Yates calls "the grandma of the family" at the aquarium.

Because Panama is much older and won't be around forever, trainers decided to find another friend for Winter, one closer in age.

"Dolphins shouldn't be alone," Yates said. "They're social creatures."

Now, all three are living peacefully together, though sometimes Winter blocks the younger dolphin from swimming into the back tank — her room.

It is a relief that Winter and Hope are playing well together. Some dolphins just don't get along, Yates said.

Abbie Munz, 13, came from England to visit family in Dunedin and realize a life goal: to see Winter, her favorite movie star, in the slippery flesh. Abbie heard about the dolphin's new roommate from her aunt, who follows aquarium events.

"This is just so cool," she said Thursday. "They look so happy."

Danielle Paquette can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4224.

 
Comments
Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

Rays hang on to beat Angels 5-3 behind Robertson slam, get back to .500

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Playing .500 ball is obviously no goal, and the Rays certainly know that.But given where they came from, that terrible 1-8 start that oozed into 3-12 and 4-13, climbing back to the respectability of .500 would be an accomplish...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

Rays journal: New pitching plan worked so well Romo starts again Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The first part of the Rays' new and unusual pitching plan worked so well Saturday, as game "opener" RHP Sergio Romo struck out the first three Angels hitters, that the Rays will do it again on Sunday.That's right. Romo will st...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

TAMPA — A two-goal lead was suddenly only one, and the Washington Capitals, having pulled their goalie, had a furious 96-second siege.Andrei Vasilevskiy made the last three of his 28 saves to preserve the Lightning's 3-2 victory Saturday in Gam...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

TAMPA — Dan Girardi knew where the puck was heading. It was heading to Alex Ovechkin for a one-timer on net, so Girardi did the only thing he could do. He blocked it.With his rump."It hit me right in the cheek," said Girardi, the Lightning defe...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 3-2 victory in Game 5

TAMPA — Faster than Justify down the stretch at the Preakness, quicker than Harry and Meghan walked down the aisle at Windsor Castle, the Lightning jumped on Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final. No runaway gallop. No funny hats. Just ho...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

Lightning-Capitals: How Ryan Callahan and his linemates overwhelmed the Caps

TAMPA — They're called grinders. Pluggers. Checkers.They're lunch-pail guys. Like 9-to-5ers. They get up every day and go to work. They punch in and punch out for no glory or credit. But the business would fall apart without them.They're the fo...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

Justify wins foggy Preakness, keeps Triple Crown bid alive

BALTIMORE — Justify rounded the final turn and hit the top of the stretch winded but with the lead. The roar from the crowd was delayed, hushed by the thick fog that enveloped the track. When Justify emerged from the haze in view of the grandstand, t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Quick strike, but not the quickest ever

Lightning-Capitals: Quick strike, but not the quickest ever

TAMPA — Cedric Paquette needed only 19 seconds to put the Lightning on the scoreboard Saturday night, coming up with the second-fastest playoff goal in franchise history.The only goal faster? Tampa Bay's Adam Hall needed only 13 seconds to scor...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Rowdies tie in debut of new coach Neill Collins

St. PETERSBURG — Neill Collins, the former Rowdies defender who this week abruptly replaced Stuart Campbell as coach of the team, was a bit ambivalent about his debut, but he sure liked the way his club played in the second half of Saturda...
Updated: 4 hours ago
USF softball team’s season ends in Gainesville

USF softball team’s season ends in Gainesville

The USF softball team's season ended late Saturday in the Gainesville Regional with a 3-2 loss to Ohio State, its second NCAA Tournament loss to the Buckeyes in as many days.OSU (36-15) must defeat No. 2 overall national seed Florida (52-8) twice Sun...
Updated: 4 hours ago