The Clearwater Aquarium was established in 1972. The structure housing the Clearwater Aquarium was originally a water treatment plant, and its huge holding tanks created the perfect arrangement to house an Aquarium. The Aquarium since its founding appeared dedicated to helping marine life that were injured, making their survival in the wild impossible. Besides its more famous inhabitants, the Clearwater Aquarium also houses sharks, sea turtles and river otters.
In 1984, the Aquarium rescued a bottle nosed dolphin named Sunset Sam. As part of the rehabilitation of the dolphin, Sunset Sam was taught to paint. Its most famous resident, however, is Winter the Dolphin. Winter was rescued by fisherman who discovered the Dolphin entangled in a lobster trap. A prosthetic tail was attached to Winter’s tail, which was severed by the trap, allowing Winter to swim.
In 2011, a movie was made about the experiences of Winter the Dolphin, called Dolphin’s Tale, and a sequel was completed a few years after. As shown in the photograph, the captains boat featured in the movie is on display on the grounds of the Clearwater Aquarium.
The movie and resulting additional tourism generated by the movie likely enabled the Aquarium to finance the expansion of its facilities, as documented in the photograph of additional research space and additional holding tanks.
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