(FoxNews) Tanya Giles, the dolphin who starred in the 2013 Dolphin Tale and the 2012 sequel A Dolphin Tale 2, has died, SeaWorld said Saturday.
Giles, also known as “Winter,” was one of the few captive dolphins in the world to be featured on the cover of People Magazine in 2009.
“Tanya was a beloved and respected member of our marine family, and we are all deeply saddened by her passing,” Kathy Andrews, chief veterinary officer at SeaWorld, said in a statement. “On behalf of our entire SeaWorld family, I want to extend our deepest condolences to Tanya’s caregivers and loved ones.”
According to Andrews, Giles, 29, died at SeaWorld Orlando on Friday. Giles was believed to have had a liver ailment and was being treated with an experimental treatment.
Giles’ family, which was with her when she died, did not wish to be interviewed about her death.
In 2018, she was taken off her daily regimen of medication to let natural processes work on her. She underwent a liver biopsy that showed blood in the organ’s edema-prone parts, SeaWorld said, which was puzzling to Giles’ care team.
Two weeks ago, Giles began breathing more deeply and started to show signs of pain in her lungs, prompting the team to perform additional testing, SeaWorld said.
“Those who got to know her best knew Tanya as a special, gentle soul who loved family and nature,” Andrews said. “No words can truly express the depth of our sorrow over her loss, but our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Tanya’s loved ones at this incredibly difficult time.”
Doctors became concerned when her heart rate began to rise and her body began to show signs of infection, SeaWorld said. Her condition worsened, and last week, she was taken off medication.
Vets and veterinary staff took the final decision to remove her from the care of the Fish Clinic of the SeaWorld Orlando Aquarium when Giles’ vital signs worsened.
SeaWorld says her prognosis was not good, and that her family gave permission for the measure.
Hearing of her death sparked an outpouring of grief from the animal kingdom, with some Twitter users in particular tributes to the dolphin, asking for more information about her condition.
In a report last year, the Humane Society of the United States cited incidents of care breaches involving elephants at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, and dolphins at the Fort Lauderdale Aquarium in Florida.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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