CMA Wild Dolphin Updates

While the Clearwater Marine Aquarium have paused operations for visitors during this difficult time, they will re-open to engage and entertain your family when it is safe to do so. So keep reading!


Discover inspiration and learn about the ongoing work of rescue, rehabilitation, and release at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Our marine life rescue center is home to Winter the Dolphin, star of the popular Dolphin Tale movies, filmed on location in Clearwater, Florida — just 90 minutes from Orlando. Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff and volunteers work each day to rescue marine life and provide the most advanced and effective care to maximize the opportunity to return sick or injured animals to their homes. SO read on for some CMA wild dolphin updates.

Wild Dolphin Updates

Dolphin updates


2019 was a memorable year for the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Wild Bottlenose Dolphin Research Program. As we embark on new journeys in 2020, we want to take a moment to reflect on all of the exciting discoveries 2019 added to the study.

Last spring, we welcomed many new calves into the Clearwater Harbor population. Some of these dolphins will soon exceed their first year of life, a particularly vulnerable time for these young dolphins. In our study, we traditionally wait until the next calendar year to give calves a name. Below are some of the most notable calves of 2019 and their new names!

Bundle’s second calf of our study, Joy


Cali’s third calf of our study, Phoenix


Petal’s second calf in our study, Lasagna



In 2019, some of the wild residents acquired new notches on their fins. The most notable changes were Taco and Neil. Thanks to our teams’ well-trained eyes, we were quickly able to track these fin changes in our database.

Taco Before

Taco before

Taco After

Taco after

Neil Before

Neil Before

Neil After

Neil after


Swimming into spring of 2020, we are hoping to see new calves from Miko and Mila, who are previously documented mature females, and possibly, first-time calves from young of years studied when this research began in 2013 and 2014! Bottlenose dolphins mature at 5-12 years of age, so we are hoping that a handful of these now-mature animals will begin adding new individuals to their community. Further, our newly named calves will start acquiring their own fin changes, making them easily identifiable once they mature away from their mothers.



Gem, born in 2014 (suspected female)


At this time of uncertainty, there is one thing that remains the same –Their Work Never Stops. Marine life rescue is 24/7 365 and CMA is still here caring for their animals. They can’t do what that do without people walking through our doors, so they need your help. Text “CMA” to “24365”, if you are able to donate and give support, and be sure to add CMA to your vacation list when they reopen to the public.