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Is Fungie dead or alive? Deep concern for the missing dolphin

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There is growing concern for the health and well-being of beloved dolphin Kerry Fungie, who is now extinct for five days.

Kerry fisherman Paul Hand had initially eased fears for Fungie’s health earlier in the week when he reported seeing the dolphin while searching in Dingle Bay on Thursday, but the dolphin has not been seen since then and local boatmen have begun to worry.

There has been extensive research into the mouth of Dingle Harbor – where Fungie usually appears to greet boats – in the headlights in recent days, but searches have yielded no results so far.

Gary Brosnan, a local Dingle ship, said the situation was now serious, but he remained hopeful the dolphin would be found alive and well.

“This is quite serious now. Mushrooms very rarely leave the mouth of the harbor and he has never, ever been absent for this time,” Brosnan told RT News.

He said there has recently been an east wind blowing the land and this could drive fish life into the sea.

“Our hope is that Fungie is out of food and will be back to us as soon as the wind comes south-west,” he said.

There was a herd of dolphins feeding about two miles off the coast of Kerry, Brosnan said, but Fungie was not among them. This is not uncommon, however, as Fungie normally does not like the company of ordinary dolphins.

The famous Kerry dolphin first disappeared on Tuesday, October 13 and was only seen on Thursday by fisherman Kerry Paul Hand, who told RT that he was “1000% sure” that he saw Fungie.

However, local fishermen say it is extremely unusual for Fungie to have left Dingle Harbor for this length of time.

They said the dolphin never disappears for more than five or six hours.

Fungie first arrived at Dingle Harbor in 1983 and has since entertained local tourists and fishermen with its friendly and lively nature.

The dolphin is the oldest solitary dolphin in the world and has far exceeded the average lifespan of an ordinary dolphin, which is somewhere between eight and 17 years old.

He has been a major attraction for Kerry tourism over the past four decades and up to 12 boat tours run to sea every day filled with tourists eager for a brief glance at the iconic dolphin.



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