IRELAND IS official home to the longest living solitary dolphin in the world.
Bottlenose dolphin Fungie has been a firm favourite with tourists and locals ever since he arrived in Dingle some 35 years ago.
Now Fungie has made history as part of the latest annual Lone Rangers report put together by the Marine Connection study charity, which has catalogues all of the solitary whales and dolphins located around the world that interact with humans.
Defined as dolphins or whales who have little or no contact with their own species and “regularly closely approach humans, often including touch, social, sexual, play, and aggressive or boisterous behaviours”, these cases have occurred red everywhere from Ireland to New Zealand.
Incredibly, out of the 114 catalogued in the latest study, Fungie now ranks as the longest known solitary animal of this type to interact with humans.
“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”, said Marine Connection director Margaux Dodds saod om the mew report.
“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.”
A household name since taking residence off the coast of Kerry in 1984, Fungie is a favourite among tourists visiting the region, always happy to make an appearance and pose for an opportune photo opportunity.
This latest development only serves to cement Fungie’s legendary status further.