The popular dolphin Fungie, which has been living off the Irish coast near the town of Dingle since the 1980s, has not been seen for a week. Fearful fellow villagers have now started a search.
Among other things, a sonar was used to check whether the animal is still in the waters. Rescue divers have also searched the area. They found nothing.
“There is still hope,” one of those involved in the search told the media. “If Fungie died, we would probably find him at one of the coves or caves. So no news is good news.”
Fungie came to Dingle in 1983 and never left. The animal seeks plenty of human contact and is known for approaching tourists and water sports enthusiasts in a friendly way.
The Irish town owes its tourist income to the dolphin. Several boat trips are organized every day for people who want to see the dolphin up close. Residents have developed a relationship with Fungie. His fan pages, including Fungie Forever, are pouring in supportive statements.
Fungie is a bottlenose dolphin and it is possible that he died of old age. The animal is at least 38 years old and according to SOS Dolphin, the dolphin species would generally not live to be older than 48.
The statue erected for Fungie. (Photo: ANP)
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