Ireland’s most famous marine mascot has been named as the longest living solitary dolphin in the world.
Bottlenose dolphin Fungie has been a regular in the sheltered coves off the coast Kerry for the past 35 years and is a firm favourite with the locals and tourists.
Now the Dingle dolphin has been awarded the unusual accolade.
Dolphins typically live in pods of more than a dozen members. Solitary dolphins are rare but there are numerous reports from around the world of individuals settling in a certain body of water and encouraging interaction with humans.
Now a Lone Rangers report put together by the Marine Connection study charity has revealed that Dingle’s Fungie is the oldest recorded case of this type.
There were 114 cases included in the study, and Fungie’s residency in Dingle Bay of more than 35 years was the longest on record.
Marine Connection director Margaux Dodds said: “Fungie is a very engaging dolphin who has become an international phenomenon with people travelling from near and far just to catch a sight of this enigmatic marine mammal.
“Who knows why he has chosen to remain in this beautiful sheltered bay for decades, but the town is, I am sure, pleased he has.”
This accolade will surely only add to Fungie’s popularity and status in Dingle, where he already has a statue in the town as tribute to his years of friendly behaviour.
Written by Andrew Moore
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