Species: North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis)

Sex: Male

Diet: Capelin, Lake Smelt, and Feline Diet

Arrival Date: 11/19/2012

Estimated Age Upon Arrival: 7-9 Months

Walle’s Tale:

Walle was raised with a caretaker on a boat from the time he was a pup to juvenile status. As a juvenile, it was recognized that Walle’s care was far more intense than a regular household pet would require. It was assumed that if Walle was put back out into the wild, he would resume life as a normal otter. This was not the case with Walle. The FWC called CMA about Walle, asking if he could live out his life with our other otters under the care of our training team. He has successfully acclimated to his new environment. Our training team has been able to hand feed, touch and interact in the exhibit with Walle on a daily basis.

Zombies (the friendly kind) invade Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure this Sunday!

*Kids 12 and under in costume are free with an adult paid admission.

The typically mild-mannered Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure will transform this Sunday into Zombie Zoo. Zombies will be lurking around the 35,000-square-foot facility. This all-ages event will have lots of fun activities for little monsters. Some of the fun happenings include:

  • Costume contestat 2 p.m. for kids ages 12 and under. Contest to be judged by a member of Ruth Eckerd Hall’s costume department. First Prize is a Dolphin Encounter at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
  • Trick or treating from Noon to 4 p.m.
  • Winter, the land-loving mascot, will become Winter Witch and will be available for photos
  • Captain Tortuga will tell his frightening tales at noon and 3 p.m.
  • SEA MONSTERS FROM THE DEEP presentations at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Movie trailers from the Classic Horror Films will play throughout the day in the theater 

*Admission price includes general admission to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, parking, and transportation between the two facilities via the Jolley Trolley or boat shuttle. 

Join in the fun:

When: Sunday October 28th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure, 300 Cleveland Street, Clearwater, FL 33755


For Immediate Release                                                                                                       September 14, 2011


Travis has overcome obstacles similar to Winter and will now see his inspiration on the big screen

Thirteen-year-old Travis Sampson and his family is in for a once in a lifetime experence thanks to AmeriLife.  Travis’s mother Tina wrote to Clearwater Marine Aquarium in hopes of making her son’s red carpet wish come true.

Travis and his brother were adopted by the Sampson family as babies. Travis was born an above the knee amputee and with a mitral valve irregularity. Travis has met Winter several times and was even an extra in the filming of Dolphin Tale. According to Travis’s mother he connected with her immediately.  Travis wears a prosthetic leg and uses the WintersGel sleeve to provide comfort. Two years ago, Travis received his first running leg and with the support of his family and the inspiration he found from Winter’s story, he ran for the first time without coming in last place. According to his mother, Travis often talks proudly of his connection to Winter and she believes that it has helped him emotionally.  In addition to the hardships the Sampson family has faced with their sons, they also care for Tina Sampson’s terminally ill brother. The household medical care costs prevented the family from purchasing tickets to the event.

As a sponsor of the Clearwater Special Screening Red Carpet Event, AmeriLife is helping to make the family’s wish come true and along with Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff will surprise the Sampson children with tickets to the event. AmeriLife will have a number of movie set props (as well as one of Winter’s prosthetic tail devices) on display in the first-floor lobby for the surprise announcement.

WHEN: Monday September 19th at 11 a.m.

WHERE: AmeriLife Clearwater Complex
2536 Countryside Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33763

*Media will also have the opportunity to greet and interview the family from the red carpet on Wednesday the 21st at the special screening event*

The proceeds from Dolphin Tale Clearwater Special Screening at Ruth Eckerd Hall next Wednesday will benefit both Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the Challenged Athletes foundation, and each $99 ticket includes two free admission passes to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. To purchase tickets to The Clearwater Special Screening please call the Ruth Eckerd Hall Box Office at (727) 791-7400

About AmeriLife
AmeriLife Group, LLC, together with its subsidiaries, provides senior-focused life and health insurance products and services in the United States. It offers a health and financial protection kit consisting of health and dental insurance, Medicare Supplements and Advantage plans, prescription drug plans, fixed and equity indexed annuities, as well as life, final expense and long-term care insurance for senior Americans. AmeriLife operates a network of Medicare-preferred provider organizations and markets homeowner, automobile, unit owner, watercraft and liability insurance products of various companies. Founded in 1971 and based in Clearwater, Florida, AmeriLife also provides third-party administration services such as compliance, policyholder, premium billing, claims and underwriting services.

About Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a Florida non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring and preserving our marine life and environment through leadership in education, research and the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine life. Visit www.SeeWinter.com to see speaker series lectures planned for the entire year. CMA is home to dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, nurse sharks and more. Winter the dolphin’s story of survival and inspiration has touched millions of people around the world. A movie, Dolphin Tale, about her life story is currently being produced by Warner Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment and stars Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, and Kris Kristofferson.  Her documentary, “Winter: The Dolphin that Could” is available at www.SeeWinter.com. The documentary takes viewers on an extraordinary journey through her rescue, fight to stay alive and extensive rehabilitation. Scholastic published Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again in October 2009.

For additional information about the Monday news conference/presentation, please contact AmeriLife’s Public Communications Director Wayne Shelor at 727-224-0088. For additional information about Winter or the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, please contact Krista Rosado, Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s Director of Marketing and Advertising, at 727-441-1790 (Ex. 227). If any television station wants to make arrangements to do a live shot at noon Monday, please let me (Shelor) know so van/dish parking accommodations may be made.

Wayne Shelor

Public Communications Director

2536 Countryside Boulevard

Clearwater, Florida  33763

Office: 727.726.0726, Ext. 2710

Fax:    727.483.7470

Cell: 727.492.1724

Cell: 727.224.0088

Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.


32,453 guests answered our call to “Come See Winter!”

With less than 2 months to the premiere of Dolphin Tale, the Warner Bros.- based Alcon Entertainment major motion picture about CMA’s most famous resident, Winter, CMA broke all time attendance records. Five years ago, CMA’s July attendance was only 9,302, but with the arrival of Winter and a new management team, CMA’s attendance numbers began to consistently increase. In July 2009, CMA reached 23,583 attendees. Today, coinciding with trailers in theatres and promotions beginning around the country, more and more visitors are coming to see Winter, 32,453 to be exact. This represents a 39% growth from July 2010. With the unparalleled publicity from the movie, CMA is progressing on a new path that includes a $12 million dollar expansion that will allow for the growth of the mission – Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release of sick and injured marine animals and public education.

Will you be the next to visit CMA and say hi to Winter?