Sunday, October 18, 2020

The bottlenose dolphin first arrived in Dingle harbour in 1983. Photo: Jeannine Masset

The search for Fungie the dolphin resumed in Co Kerry on Sunday morning, with some in the area hoping a change in the wind to the southwest may bring the famous bottlenose back to Dingle harbour.

He has now been “missing” from the area for almost a week.

Concerns about Fungie’s welfare were raised on Thursday after he had not been spotted in Dingle Bay for two days.

Search teams went out in the hope of locating the region’s most famous tourist attraction.

The bottlenose dolphin first arrived in Dingle harbour in 1983 and has been a resident ever since.

Fungie-watchers since 1991 Jeannine Masset and Rudi Schamhart, who first noticed the dolphin was missing, said “it is really very hard on everyone”.

“Needless to say that we are heartbroken but also over-exhausted for we did not sleep in four days,” they wrote on their “Fungie Forever” Facebook page.

They took some criticism for raising the alarm, but now most Fungie-watchers have accepted the gravity of the situation and Dolphin tour boats and other vessels are out searching.

Besides the search they have been responding to hundreds of messages.

Their last photo of Fungie was posted on Saturday, October 10th and one the previous day shows him taking a short cut close to the cliffs in the harbour.

They also reported their belief that he looked tired on October 7th. “It was very clear the last weeks that Fungie was tired of the busy season. His whole behaviour showed that,” they say.

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