A SINGLE bottle-nosed dolphin has been spotted interacting with boats off the coast of Ireland for the second time, sparking renewed hope that Fungie the Dingle dolphin may yet return.
Fungie was a fixture in Dingle Bay for more than 30 years, creating a huge tourist industry for locals in the Kerry town, with thousands flocking to Dingle each year to catch a glimpse of the playful creature, who would jump alongside boats to cheers and applause from tourists.
Famous for being the world’s longest-living solitary dolphin, and renowned for being exceptionally friendly towards humans despite being a wild animal, his sudden disappearance last October set shockwaves through the local community.
Though many suspect the elderly dolphin may have passed away, his body has never been recovered, sparking continued hope he is still alive and will one day return to Dingle.
Those hopes have been given fresh impetus by the sighting of a similarly friendly bottle-nose dolphin seen interacting with boats 30 miles south of the Old Head of Kinsale in Co Cork.
Footage of the dolphin was posed on the Observers App Twitter account, which allows people to submit video footage of whales, dolphins, seals, sharks and other sea life to be analysed by marine biologists.
“Is FUNGIE back?” a tweet posted on the account asked.
Is FUNGIE back? Re:OBS- second observation of the same individual solitary bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) interacting with boats only this time it followed Mike 30 miles south of the Old Head of Kinsale! @irishexaminer @thesundaytimes @ORCA_Ireland @DingleSea pic.twitter.com/w1iCqDUCk7
— Observers App (@ObserversApp) April 11, 2021
“Second observation of the same individual solitary bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) interacting with boats only this time it followed Mike 30 miles south of the Old Head of Kinsale!”
Fungie’s reappearance would fly in the face of all logic, given that search boasts spent days tirelessly looking for the dolphin last October only to ultimately call off the search.
However, this latest sighting will be welcomed by those among Dingle who remain hopeful that Fungie will return when he is ready.
A third, rarely explored, theory, meanwhile, suggests Fungie may have been taken off course by a sub-ocean sonar system developed by the Russian government.
Until fans find out the truth about Fungie, this story is likely to rumble on.