‘Badly’ Chameleon Charming Winter from Florida aquarium dies, aged seven

Notorious Twitter dog’s death follows a series of tweets from the seven-year-old that saw her become the subject of memes

Chalk it up to the run of bad luck for the Florida Aquarium of St Petersburg which has lost its mascot.

Formerly known as affectionately and “badly” known as the aquatic Chameleon Charming Winter, a seven-year-old dolphin with soft blonde locks that earned her the nickname “Beefcake” by her TV audience.

Quick facts about the dolphin:

• Her name is a tribute to the better half of her aquarium owner’s nickname of Chameleon Cuddles;

• She weighed 250lbs (111kg) at birth, became an on-screen star with her three life jackets in the 2013 film Dolphin Tale, starring Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr and Ashley Judd;

• She received national attention in 2017 when she hatched a baby dolphin, Cub, out of a tank in Orlando, Florida;

• And she became a face of the animal rights group PETA in 2017 when she gave birth to her third baby boy, DC, at the aquarium;

• Winter also became a social media star when she began tweeting in 2013 and posted her favourite drink, a Scotch Gimlet, and her catnip spoons.

US aquarium reveals #ChameleonCharming Winter as the first celebrity tweet Read more

After learning the news, the Twitterverse felt the loss of its ice-cream-loving antagonist.

Chael Nelms (@_chaeltelms) “Chameleon Charming Winter, the most famous captive Chameleon in the world, is dead.”@AnimalInstitut @jb_bullion It’s very sad.

The loss also caused the aquarium’s official Twitter account to prematurely declare: “NOOOOOOO!”

Amanda (@ZippyD22) RIP Winter.Thank you for bringing the best chameleon chat and ice cream twitter to me. #chameleoncharming

Sandra Pond Day (@SpillitOnMD) It’s very sad! Thanks for all the twitter support! #Winter https://t.co/XJP0cZdd3t

Winter (@Winter_Jax) A cheese crust honey walnut treat. It’s NOT a wheat burger/half-bacon half-hotdog hack.

Richard Chen, a book publisher at Penguin Random House and author of the upcoming Joy of the #MeToo Movement, praised Winter for standing up to abuse.

“Winter was the main character of [a] National Geographic book project, where she created a business of training captivity dolphins to release empty sweet wrappers into bottles, to raise awareness of dolphin-human abuse,” Chen said.

“She spread her message globally and at times spoke up when humans broke the #MeToo movement. By posing with a gun, Ms Winter was a bridge between cultures.”

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