CLEARWATER, Fla. — It's now been a little more than a week since Winter the Dolphin died in the arms of her caregivers who were working for days to save her life.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced it would hold a private memorial at 7 p.m. Saturday for all the aquarium community partners and elected leaders to remember her.
Along with the live-streamed memorial service, the aquarium is inviting fans and extended family of CMA to celebrate Winter's life from Saturday, Nov. 20 until Nov. 24.
Guests who join in the celebration of life are encouraged to bring their memories of Winter. They'll be able to visit the Ruth & J.O. Stone Dolphin Complex that Winter helped build and see all of the non-releasable animals at CMA.
During the Celebration of Life, there will be flower arrangements, visual tributes, a special presentation, original footage of Winter's rescue and more.
Admission on Saturday and Sunday will be reduced to $16 in Winter's honor. A portion of the proceeds from tickets bought on these two days will go toward the "care of our rescued and resident animals as well as our mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release marine life," CMA says.
If you are unable to attend in person, you don't have to miss out. The aquarium invites you to attend virtually at RememberingWinter.com.
The 16-year-old dolphin, who rose to fame after losing her tail flukes and starring in the Dolphin Tale movie franchise, died last Thursday after struggling with gastrointestinal abnormalities.
An official necropsy showed Winter died from intestinal torsion, which is when the intestines "twist on themselves" and cut off the blood supply, CMA Veterinarian Dr. Shelly Marquardt said in a news conference last Saturday.
Marquardt explained the dolphin was on pain control to make sure she was comfortable.
"We believe she was as comfortable as she could've possibly [been] and that was a very, very high priority given the situation we were in," the veterinarian said.
"As a veterinarian, we take an oath to cause no harm."
In lieu of flowers, CMA is collecting donations. More than $33,000 has been raised by the fans who loved Winter the Dolphin.