Creator of first prosthetic dolphin tail visits Savannah - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Creator of first prosthetic dolphin tail visits Savannah

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The "Dolphin Tale" film has grossed more than $49 million.

It's the story of a dolphin whose tail was amputated and the world renowned prosthetic expert who stepped in and created a new one to help her swim.

The man who created the tail was in Savannah this week.

Meet Winter, when she was only 3 months old, the dolphin lost her tail after she was entangled in a crab trap.

Kevin Carroll, an expert who develops prosthetics for humans, heard about Winter's story and thought he might be able help.

"I figured we do that kind of work, why not put a tail on a dolphin," said Carroll.

After spending about a year to come up with the design, his idea worked. Winter was the first dolphin to ever have a prosthetic tail.

"The first time I saw her swim with the tail was an incredible moment," said Carroll.

Six years later, the story caught national attention. "First, with a book and then Hollywood picked it up.

"Morgan Freeman plays myself and my colleague Dan Strempka, we are one character. Who would have thought? We made one phone call and now it's a world wide story," said Carroll.

But Carroll says his biggest accomplishment is what this story has done to help children with prosthetic legs or arms.

He says Winter is their inspiration. If she can do it, so can they.

"As the result of Winter, there's these kids who are living life to the fullest," said Carroll.

The movie "Dolphin Tale" is still playing in theaters. Winter the dolphin is still at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. 

Copyright 2011 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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