According to reports, beloved Winter the dolphin has died at Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Winter was reportedly 16-years-old at the time of death, but what is the average lifespan for the sea creature? We’re explaining how long dolphins usually live.

Photo by Nick Ut/Getty Images

Winter the dolphin passes away

In latest news, Winter the dolphin has passed away aged 16. The much-loved animal was the star of the ‘Dolphin Tale’ movies, captivating audiences with the story of a dolphin with a prosthetic tail.

Winter sadly died at about 7:45PM at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, reports say.

Tampa Bay Times reports that aquarium staff first noticed that Winter was acting differently when she had trouble eating back on November 1st.

Veterinarian Dr. Shelly Marquardt explained: “While we are heartbroken by Winter’s death, we are comforted knowing that our team did everything possible to give her the best chance at survival. We worked with specialists and marine mammal experts from around the country to provide her with the best care available. Our staff worked around the clock during this challenging time.”

Average dolphin lifespan explained

According to Sciencing, the average lifespan for a bottlenose dolphin is between 15 and 16 years.

With that being said, the same outlet reports that some dolphins can live over 40 years, with the oldest dolphin aged scientifically in the wild living until 48-years-old. If a dolphin does reach the age of 40, it would be considered very old in terms of sea creature lifespan.

Contrary to popular belief, Sciencing reveals that dolphins in captivity can also live decades, with the oldest in captivity living to see over 50.

However, UK Whales reports that it is more common for dolphins to survive longer in the wild than in captivity. The same source also suggests that dolphins who were captured from the wild survive for longer in captivity than those that were born into captivity.

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