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athgarvan

Happy Birthday, Fungie

Everyone has heard of beautiful Killarney in Co. Kerry, Ireland. Well, not far from Killarney is Dingle, a small fishing harbour.
funfie 3
Thirty years ago yesterday a young bottle-nosed dolphin started to appear at the mouth of Dingle Harbour and has remained in Dingle ever since, and has become both a friend to the locals and a great "attraction" for visitors.

Christened "Fungie" by the local fishermen, he lives and plays within a small area at the mouth of the harbour. He is a curious and friendly animal, but to show his freedom, Fungie never accepts gifts from divers, or fish thrown from returning trawlers and rarely ventures far from the mouth of the harbour, a fact that has baffled scientists and specialists.

Humans can seldom interact with dolphins but Fungie swims and jumps and plays with people all the time but remains wild and free. Boat trips to see Fungie leave from the pier often and there is a money back guarantee if Fungie fails to appear but this guarantee has never had to be payed out!

  Fungi   Fungie 4

Comments

that's wonderful!
A great tourist attraction in that area.
& valuable as such i'm sure. but one can't help wondering if he weren't an attraction, if he got to know a smaller # of people (such as might have lived there a few centuries ago?) better, how the relationship might have been different.
Beautiful creature! :o)

I've seen harbour porpoises often up in Orkney as well as being a couple of feet from baby seals and I was once privileged to see orcas, but I've never seen dolphins in the wild.
Isn't "Fungie" beautiful? I haven't been able to get out to touch him as others have but just to see him in action is fantastic.
Such a special creature! I love how dolphins will interact with humans so willingly.
Good for tourism.
That last picture is amazing! I wonder if I'll get to go there one day.
There are other pictures where he is rubbing up against the boat and allowing people to pet him.
This has been happening for thirty years, and this is the first time I've ever heard of it. But what a beautiful thing it is! I once had a rather commercialized experience where some very tame dolphins would swim up next to a small boat full of tourists. One of the dolphins offered me her dorsal fin to touch. They are really amazing creatures - I wouldn't be surprised to find out that they are actually smarter than we are.
Nobody knows where Fungie came from but some suggest he may have been released from some aquarium and had become used to people while there. If so he must have been very young when released.
Apparently Fungie is quite elderly for a dolphin, but he seems to be in very good health and spirits.