Cindy the dolphin, the head of a pack of dolphins at the Eilat Reef, and father of all the dolphins born in the area, died Sunday and was buried at sea.
The dolphin's body was discovered Sunday morning by reef workers floating in its favorite place – the entrance of the diving and swimming instructors. Reef workers put Cindy's body in a boat and sailed into the sea, where they departed from it.
"We felt this was the end for three weeks," said Maya Zilber, who is a manager at the reef's training center. "Cindy swam slowly and he had problems eating. Sometimes he didn't eat at all. He vomited and did not look good," said Maya.
Cindy gained fame after marrying Sharon Tendler, a 41-year-old Jewish millionaire from London in December 2005. Tendler wore a white dress and placed flowers on her head.
Cindy, escorted by his fellow best-men dolphins, swam over to Tendler and she hugged him, whispered sweet nothings in his ear, and kissed him in front of the cheering crowd.
Cindy - largest dolphin on the reef (Photo: Omer Armoza)
After the ceremony was sealed with some mackerels, Tendler was tossed into the water by her friends so that she could swim with her new husband.
"I'm the happiest girl on earth," the bride said as she chocked back tears of emotion. "I made a dream come true, and I am not a pervert," she stressed.
Cindy was the largest dolphin on the reef. He was over 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) and weighed over 250 kilograms (551 pounds). Despite his massive size, Zilber said that Cindy "still had battles with other males."
"But these are natural wars. If there would not have been wars between the males, we would be worried," she added.
Reef employees estimate that Cindy, short for Cinderella, was 40-years-old at the time of his death.