CLEARWATER, Fla .– Officials at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium on Friday announced plans to launch a virtual reality experience to allow fans to virtually swim with Winter, the prosthetic tailed dolphin who starred in âDolphin Taleâ in 2011 and inspired people around the world before her. died last month.
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“When a loved one dies, there is a very real fear that we will forget the sound of their voice or even the way they walked,” Dr. James “Buddy” Powell, president of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, said in a statement. . âFor those of us who loved winter, I am proud to announce that winter will live on in the physical world as well as the digital world so that his tweet, his behavior and his personality can never be forgotten. . “
Using 360-degree images and videos taken during Winter’s lifetime, aquarium officials said they plan to produce an “immersive virtual reality experience” that should go live. next month. The aquarium will also remember winter with a memorial opening to the public on December 26. Officials encouraged fans to bring notes, maps and stories about the impact of winter to share in the space.
Winter died on November 11 of an intestinal torsion.
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âEssentially, Winter’s intestines had twisted deep inside his gut,â aquarium officials said last month. âWhile our team provided Winter with the best care and treatment available, the location of the torsion made it impossible to achieve with surgery. The team could not have done anything more to save his life.
Bottlenose dolphin had been at Clearwater Marine Aquarium since 2005 when she was rescued after getting entangled in a crab trap and losing her tail. His recovery and the process of fitting him with a prosthetic tail was chronicled in “Dolphin Tale”, starring Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Kris Kristofferson and Morgan Freeman. The film was shot at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, with Winter in the lead role.
>> Related: ‘Dolphin Tale’ Star Winter the Dolphin Dies at Florida Aquarium
Winter also appeared in 2014’s âDolphin Tale 2,â which focused on Hope, another dolphin who has been at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium since her rescue in 2010.
Officials at Clearwater Marine Aquarium said on Friday that staff were planning to release his ashes in the Gulf of Mexico next month.
âReturning Winter to his natural home is a poetic end to his incredible 16-year journey and we couldn’t think of a better way to rest his mind,â said Powell.
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