Winter the Dolphin has a special place in Sarasota. Local resident Dan Strzempka created the first full prosthetic tail in the world for a dolphin when Winter lost her tail in a crab trap. Dan made monthly visits to Clearwater to fit a new tail for Winter until she was full grown. Winter died this week from a gastrointestinal infection. She would have had a shorter life without the prosthetic tail. Winter was 16.
The tale of Winter had many ramifications besides two movies being based on Winter. Dan created a new salve for Winter’s tail because Dolphins have more sensitive skin than humans. That salve was used to help military/veterans after they lost a limb in combat. Winter also inspired thousands of children and adults to proceed with getting a prosthetic after seeing Winter get one.
Dan Strzempka is shown on the right standing. Dan is a native of Sarasota and runs a prosthetic practice for a large company.
We will miss Winter who inspired many people. Feel free to share this post.
Photos: Clearwater Aquarium