Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Another Dolphin Story - This One Happy!

I apologize for going to another news story for my blog today but I admit to being overwhelmed this week with the Healthcare Event coming up Saturday that I've advertised on my blog a few times. 

This story caught me by surprise too though, as I've never heard a dolphin with a prosthesis before! Very cool!

Art imitates life in 'Dolphin Tale'
CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — The little injured dolphin they called Winter couldn't have come along at a better time for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a rustic sea life rescue center occupying the city's old sewage treatment plant.
The nonprofit public aquarium was about ready to go belly-up at the end of 2005 when the baby bottlenose dolphin was brought there after getting her tail tightly entangled in a crab-trap line. She lived, but her tail fluke withered away, forcing the young animal to learn how to swim with just a stump and then adapt to a revolutionary prosthetic. Winter's inspirational story of perseverance made her a global media star, quadrupled attendance at the aquarium and spawned a lucrative line of toys, books and other merchandise.
Now Winter is a movie star.
The charismatic animal plays herself in "Dolphin Tale," a family-friendly 3-D movie starring Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Kris Kristofferson, opening Sept. 23. The production is based on Winter's unlikely story of surviving the loss of her tail, then thriving and inspiring human visitors — including war veterans — who have lost limbs and are adapting to their own prosthetics.
The story got some fictional tweaks — a troubled boy (Nathan Gamble) who bonds with Winter was created as a central character who finds the gravely injured animal — but the movie sticks close to the real events surrounding the loss of Winter's tail and her recovery at the aquarium. And in another twist on art imitating life, in the movie Winter's presence helps save the modest marine rescue center from financial ruin. A big chunk of the film was shot at the facility last fall.
"Largely what you see with her rescue, her rehabilitation, the (prosthetic) tail being made, the fact it was filmed here and Winter stars as herself, it's pretty much real life," aquarium CEO David Yates says.
Connick, who plays a veterinarian and director of the marine rescue hospital, says he didn't find out the script was based on a true story until after he had read it.
"I thought it was somebody's creative imagination at work," he says. "I was just blown away. I couldn't get over it, really, not only because of her survival and consequently thriving, but the advancements they made in human prosthetics because of it. I was just blown away that the whole thing was true."

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