12.16.2013

RIP Panama, A Sweet Dolphin

I've been thinking a lot about Panama the dolphin lately and was very saddened to read that she passed away this past September (Tampa Bay Times, "Clearwater Marine Aquarium's oldest dolphin, Panama, is dead").

I really liked her when I visited a couple of years ago, and spent quite a few minutes hanging out with her and talking to her. She was very sweet and calm.

Panama the Dolphin, July 2011
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium specializes in rescue, rehab, and release of the area's ocean-going wildlife throughout the Florida peninsula. I'm particularly fond of their education and intervention efforts in support of sea turtle nesting. I <3 turtles! ;o)

They're famous for their tail-less dolphin, Winter, who is a charismatic and energetic gal! She regrettably lost her tail due to getting tangled in a fishing net when she was very young. She's the centerpiece of a special program where physically challenged children can come and hang out with her and get their hopes up if they're not feeling too great.

Winter also does amazing acrobatics during the aquarium's training shows. The aquarium is the live set of A Dolphin Tale 2, the sequel to a great little movie dramatizing Winter's rescue and rehab story. I'm very much looking forward to seeing this sequel in my local movie theater when it comes out.