Ireland mourns after Fungie, world’s oldest solitary wild dolphin, feared dead

Fungie the dolphin had been a staple of the Dingle harbour for four decades

Fungie-dolphin-ireland Image credit Tourism Ireland PR Twitter handle

For at least 37 years, the friendly common bottlenose dolphin ‘Fungie’ was a staple of the Dingle harbour in Ireland’s southwestern coast. In 2019, he was declared the oldest solitary wild dolphin in the world by Guinness World Records.

But, in October, Fungie went missing, sparking nationwide concern for his whereabouts and wellbeing. However, on Tuesday, RTE reported that Dingle’s boatmen fear the “strong likelihood” that Fungie is dead, after dolphin had been missing for a week.

Though the usual lifespan of a dolphin is under 50 years of age, experts told RTE that Fungie may may had headed out to sea to feed.

You can see an old lighthouse keeper, Paddy Ferriter, describe Fungie’s mannerisms in this video, filmed by Zari productions in 1991.

Locals say there was much grá (Irish for love) for the dolphin.

Known to dance and frolic in the water around humans, Fungie left many with fond memories of him.


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