Clearwater Marine Aquarium

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is one of the most famous sites in the state of Florida. It has been the site of countless family bonding trips as well as educational exposures. Throughout the year, visitors from all over the world converge on this destination to see the sights themselves.

It offers visitors with an educational opportunity. More than just being another tourist attraction, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a firm advocate of animal rescue and care. Its facilities are dedicated to saving and rehabilitating the sick and injured marine animals. This is so that they can be released back into the wild.

Of course, it is worth noting that visitors get the chance to visit the permanent residents at the aquarium. All of them suffer from serious injuries that prevent them from being brought back into the wild. This article presents a brief breakdown of which of the Clearwater residents are available to the public.

Dolphins

The dolphins are the highlight of the show in the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. There are currently no less than three Dolphin residents in the facility. First, there is Winter. She is a female Atlantic bottlenose dolphin who has since starred in a couple of movies since being rescued back in 2005 after being found caught in a crab trap.

The severity of her injuries eventually led to the loss of her tail. Because of this, she had to adapt by finding a new way to swim. However, without a tail, she could only do it through an unnatural side to side motion. Doctors soon found out that this was damaging her spinal cord. To address this new problem, a prosthetic tail was designed specifically for her needs.

Winter shares her home with Hope, Nicholas and Panama. Like Winter, they suffered debilitating injuries that prevent them from being reintroduced into the wild. Hope, for instance, was rescued at a very early age and had never learned the necessary skills to survive on her own.

Meanwhile, Panama, the aquarium’s oldest dolphin resident, has become deaf and lost her ability to echolocate. This prevents her from catching fish. Without the help of the facility, she faces the risk of starvation.

Sharks

The aquarium also hosts Thelma and Louise, two fully-grown nurse sharks. They were illegally taken by a private collector at a very young age. They were donated to the aquarium when they outgrew their tank and the collector lost interest in them.

The facility deemed them unfit for life in the wild because of the amount of time they spent in captivity. The case of Thelma and Louise presents one of the serious problems that the wildlife community faces. As people careless take animals from the wild, they rarely think about the impacts it will inevitably have on that particular creature. The longer they are kept in cages, the more likely it is for them to lose touch with their natural instincts.

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the State of Florida. It not only offers visitors a fun day out, it also gives them an opportunity to learn something new.