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Clearwater aquarium ‘heartbroken’ over death of Hemingway the dolphin

The dolphin rescued off Fiesta Key helped the aquarium improve its approach to caring for dolphins with hearing loss.
Hemingway, a dolphin at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, was estimated to be about 37 years old. He was found stranded off Fiesta Key in July 2019.
Hemingway, a dolphin at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, was estimated to be about 37 years old. He was found stranded off Fiesta Key in July 2019. [ Clearwater Marine Aquarium ]
Published Jan. 23|Updated Jan. 24

Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Monday announced that Hemingway, a dolphin rescued off Fiesta Key in 2019, died early Monday morning.

“Our team is heartbroken this morning. At approximately 1:30 a.m. today our beloved rescued dolphin Hemingway passed away, surrounded by his animal care and veterinary teams,” a news announcement from the aquarium said.

Hemingway, who weighed 700 pounds, was estimated to be about 37 years old. He was found stranded off Fiesta Key in the Florida Keys in July 2019 and was later transferred to Clearwater Marine Aquarium in June 2020 after he was deemed nonreleasable due to hearing loss and ongoing health concerns.

Once there, Hemingway became a companion for Nicholas, the other male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin in the aquarium’s dolphin complex who was rescued in 2002.

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The staff noticed a change in Hemingway’s behavior late last week, aquarium officials said, and began treating him for a suspected gastrointestinal condition. CMA’s veterinary team contacted experts, including its veterinary radiologist.

A necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

“During his time with us, CMA staff was able to share Hemingway’s story and the importance of protecting dolphins in the wild. Our team learned new practices and continued to improve our approach in caring for dolphins with hearing loss,” a news release said. “We are forever grateful for the time we had with Hemingway and are proud of our staff and volunteers for the level of care we provide to all the animals in our care.”