Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary admission to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and a movie preview as compensation.
All opinions are my own.
This weekend was super exciting for my family and I. We toured the Clearwater Marine Aquarium [CMA] with other Tampa Bay Bloggers, as Ambassadors for the new movie Dolphin Tale 2.
We all gathered together and listened to David Yates, the CEO and Director of the CMA tell us about what the Aquarium does, how it helps the animals, as well as helping children and Veterans.
If you don't know the Story about Winter the Dolphin, let me catch you up...
Winter was rescued on the East Coast of Florida. A fishing line had wrapped around her tail flukes and unfortunately, Winter's tail could not be saved.
Winter has a prosthetic tail with a complete fluke, actually, she's had a couple as they have grown with her and changed over time.
The staff at the CMA is wonderful. We were able to touch and stretch "Winter's Gel" which goes on before her prosthetic tail. "Winter's Gel" has helped people who have prosthetic limbs, who have experienced discomfort or pain.
|David Yates and Anthony with "Winter's Gel|
Anthony thought the gel sleeve was super cool. He could stretch it out and it would go back to the original size. Christopher stretched it, and much to our surprise, let it go..
We're very sorry Mr. Yates !
|Luke, Anthony, and Christopher with the latest version of Winter's prosthetic tail|
After hearing from Mr. Yates and Winter's Trainer,
we were on our way to see Winter and Hope!
Hope has grown up and is about the same size as Winter. They were so sweet and playful.
Along with Winter and Hope, the CMA has Pelicans, Nurse sharks, Stingrays, Turtles, and Otters.
If you don't live near the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, but want to see Winter and Hope, you can check out the CMA Webcam.
Our time at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium was educational and fun. We learned so much about Winter, Hope, and the wonderful things that the Clearwater Marina Aquarium does to rehabilitate and release marine animals.
But something I did not know, was how Winter's story touch the lives of Children and Veterans who have lost limbs or are ill. We heard stories from Mr. Yates about families that come to the CMA just for Winter. Her story has changed lives, encouraged others, and yes, has given us Hope !!!