'Dolphin Tale' aquarium plans to drop animal shows

Aquarium officials: Rehabilitation, marine rescues focus of new aquatic center

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Dolphin Tale 2: Sept. 12, starring Morgan Freeman, Kris Kristofferson, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd and Nathan Gamble.

CLEARWATER, Fla. - No animal performances will be held at a redesigned aquatic center planned by the Florida aquarium featured in the "Dolphin Tale" movies.

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium was the location of the 2011 "Dolphin Tale" movie inspired by the real-life rescue and rehabilitation of Winter the dolphin, which was fitted with a prosthetic tail. A sequel scheduled to hit theaters this month focuses on another dolphin calf named Hope rescued in 2010.

Aquarium officials say rehabilitation and marine rescues, not entertainment, will be the focus of the new $68 million downtown aquatic center.

The aquarium cut the price tag for the new center by nearly $100 million by dropping typical entertainment facilities such as a dolphin stadium.

Guests will be able to view staff working with animals from platforms and walkways.

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