Four months ago, a fisherman found a baby bottlenose dolphin tangled in the buoy line of a crab trap near Cape Canaveral. “Winter” is just one of hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, marine mammals, and seabirds caught accidentally by fishermen each year. The good news is, unlike most bycatch victims, instead of losing her life, Winter only lost her tail.

After being nursed back to health by more than 150 marine biologists and volunteers working around the clock, Winter has shown great improvement. She swims and plays at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. But Winter isn’t out of the woods just yet; experts think she needs … a prosthetic tail.

If the logistics (read $100,000) can be worked out, Winter’s prosthesis would be the first for a dolphin who lost its tail. Dana Zucker, COO of the aquarium, is hoping the cost of the tail will be underwritten by the company that creates it.

Since we’re asking … maybe the company wouldn’t mind throwing in 100 million+ prosthetic fins for sharks every year?

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Shark populations are experiencing serious declines because of the barbaric practice of shark finning — slicing off the shark’s fins and discarding the body at sea. The fins are primary used for the “delicacy” shark fin soup.

Many countries have banned the practice, including the European Union. But a crucial vote by the European Parliament this week could weaken the ban, rendering it all but meaningless. Stand by; we expect a decision tomorrow.

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