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Winter's Tail

How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again.

Told by Isabella Hatkoff, Juliana Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu

Winter is a dolphin. Just over two years ago, when she was a baby, she was rescued from a crab trap, her tail seriously damaged. Winter was rushed to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, a marine animal hospital. It wasn't clear that she would survive. She did, but eventually the tail fell off and Winter compensated by swimming more like a fish than a dolphin which was seriously damaging her spine. But for the last year, Winter has been learning how to use a prosthetic tail. The idea came from a company that makes prosthetics for humans. It was very challenging but Winter is thriving and using her new tail with great command.

The word has gotten out about Winter. Visitors are traveling in droves to Clearwater to visit Winter who has become an inspiration to adults and children alike, especially to children who are amputees themselves. The tale doesn't end there. The special technology used for Winter's prosthetic tail is being used to develop prosthetics for Iraq war veterans who have especially sensitive injuries.

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