Winter is the first beneficiary of the controversial MMDA (Marine Mammals with Disabilities Act) of 1977
A two year-old bottlenose dolphin has received an artificial flipper after losing hers in a crab trap out at sea. Winter was only three months-old when she was rescued off the Florida coast by a benevolent fisherman who found her thrashing around in the trap’s line. She nearly died of her injuries and exhaustion.
Rumor has it that Winter recently auditioned to be Def Leopard’s replacement drummer.
She survived, luckily, but had to have her tail fin amputated, before being placed at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Apparently without her tail she developed a “swimming style that was a cross between an alligator and a shark,” (according to this article), but recently became the recipient of a custom-made artificial flipper from Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics complete with a silicon sleeve and a titanium joint.
Another dolphin in Japan, named Fuji, has a prosthesis to replace a “part” of her tail, but Winter’s injuries are even more extensive. Winter will actually need at least three new tails as she grows over the next fifteen years into her full size.