Clearwater Marine Aquarium Welcomes Rescued Dolphin to its Forever Home
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is proud to share the news that the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) has been selected by National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to be the forever home to a new rescued male dolphin with a hearing impairment.
The new dolphin will provide a companion for CMA rescued resident Nicholas, another male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. He is yet to be named, but CMA has invited the public to provide name suggestions at their website, www.seewinter.com.
In July 2019, the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin became stranded in shallow waters off Fiesta Key, Florida. When he was rescued, he was weak and was found to have severe pneumonia. After several weeks of treatment, the dolphin’s health improved but further testing indicated he had hearing loss. Due to his ongoing health issues and hearing loss, NMFS ultimately determined the dolphin was not a candidate for release.
“Like all the rescued animals at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, we are looking forward to providing the best care possible for this dolphin,” said CEO Frank Dame.
“He will have a loving and enriching home here at CMA and we’re so proud to be selected by National Marine Fisheries Service to care for him. I’d like to thank the teams at NMFS, SeaWorld, and Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder for rescuing and caring for this incredible animal.”
Estimated to be approximately 26-years old, the dolphin weighs 700-pounds and will join Nicholas at CMA’s Dolphin Terrace.
“Clearwater Marine Aquarium has a history of providing excellent care for rescued marine life and their team has expertise with dolphins who exhibit hearing loss, like Panama and PJ,” said Dr. Erin Fougères, NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal Stranding Program Administrator.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium also cares for two other rescued dolphins, Nicholas and PJ, as well as sea turtles, pelicans, otters, and nurse sharks. All dolphins are deemed non-releasable by NMFS due to injuries and the lack of survival skills. In autumn, CMA will open an expanded facility with a brand-new dolphin habitat, tripling its current habitat space.
The CMA is a non-profit working marine rescue centre dedicated to inspiring the human spirit through leadership in education, research, rescue, rehabilitation and release. The animals that come through their
doors arrive because they are suffering from an illness or severe injury. Many of their animals are found by local residents, fishermen, park rangers or even visitors to the area.
One of their world-famous residents is Winter the Dolphin – Winter’s story has inspired millions around the world in the major motion picture, Dolphin Tale, and the sequel, Dolphin Tale 2.
The CMA is a working marine hospital and popular family attraction in St. Pete/Clearwater, along with the destination’s award-winning beaches, exotic nature trails, museums, craft breweries, and independent restaurants and boutique shops.
The destination also has plenty of family-friendly accommodation options, from the 1920’s themed Beach House Suites by the Don CeSar, to the sleek, modern new builds such as Wyndham Grand, with views across the Gulf Coast, to the funky jazz hotel in Dunedin, the Fenway Hotel.
While international holidays are on pause right now, keep St. Pete/Clearwater front of mind for your next family holiday. It’s just 90 minutes from Orlando Airport, or 30 minutes from Tampa Airport, with British Airways and Norwegian both offering direct flights from the UK.
For further press information, please contact:
Jo Kendall | Charlotte Wright
T: +44 (0) 20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]
About Visit St. Pete/Clearwater:
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) is the official destination marketing organisation of Pinellas County in Florida and covers 26 municipalities in the area. The region is located on the peninsula on Florida’s west coast, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Tampa Bay to the east.
The area offers 35 miles of award-winning white-sandy beaches, exotic nature trails, culture and arts. It is home to independent restaurants, boutique shops and a unique craft beer trail running from Tarpon Springs to Treasure Island showcasing 40+ local breweries’ fresh artisanal beer. Both Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach have consistently been listed among the top 5 beaches in America, in the annual TripAdvisor Readers’ Choice Awards.
Boasting the largest collection of Dali artwork outside of Spain in the Dali Museum, the county has a significant art scene, with walking mural tours, regular exhibitions and the impressive Chihuly Collection of hand-blown glass sculptures.
The destination is renowned for sunshine and currently holds the Guinness World Record for the longest run of sunshine days, a massive 768.