CLEARWATER, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - Staff at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced Thursday night that Winter the Dolphin died.
Officials say she died at about 8 p.m. after several animal care experts from across the country tried to treat a gastrointestinal abnormality.
Staff say during preparation for a procedure, the CMA Animal Care team noticed that Winter's vital signs were not improving.
Medical experts tried several life-saving efforts, but she died being held by her caregivers.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium released this statement:
"'While we are heartbroken by Winter's death, we are comforted knowing that our team did everything possible to give her the best chance at survival. We worked with specialists and marine mammal experts from around the country to provide her with the best care available. Our staff worked around the clock during this challenging time,' said Veterinarian Dr. Shelly Marquardt, DVM, CVA. 'I'm honored to work alongside such dedicated and talented professionals who gave their all for Winter.' The CMA team expresses our deepest gratitude to the thousands of people from around the world who sent caring messages for Winter. She truly inspired hope and was loved by millions of people worldwide.
Winter, we love you."
Officials say the aquarium will be closed on Friday to allow everyone to grieve and a grief counselor is being made available to the team.
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