A small town in Ireland launched a search operation for a dolphin. In Dingle Harbour of County Kerry, a 37-year-old dolphin, Fungie has gone missing. His disappearance brought about an extensive search which was paused recently due to bad weather
The bottlenose dolphin was first sighted in the area in the 1980s. The fishermen at the harbor assumed the dolphin would leave in a few days but the dolphin stayed and weeks turned into months and months turned into years.
Instead of being scared of humans, Fungie wanted to interact with them. Dolphins usually live in groups called pods but dolphins who live alone are not unheard of. However, a case where a dolphin spends their entire adult life in one small harbor is truly exceptional.
In 2019, he was named the oldest solitary dolphin by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Fungie has not only become a tourist attraction but a part of the town culture. Many of the townspeople have grown up with Fungie and his disappearance has had an enormous effect on the citizens.
So why did he disappear so suddenly? Padraig Whooley, sightings officer for the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, stated that 37 years of age for a dolphin is fairly old and Fungie may have “headed for the twilight of his life”. He also adds some hope saying that Fungie may have gone into hiding to self-isolate from a few pods of dolphins that were close to shore last week.
Let’s hope for the best for Fungie!
Sources: BBC, CNN