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Dolphin Tales: Fungie the Dingle Dolphin

By Capt. Cathy Eagle - | Sep 30, 2020

Scientists don’t fully understand why some dolphins leave their pod and seek out humans as their companions. They could be cast out, or lost, or orphaned. Perhaps they became entangled in fishing line or cast net and were abandoned by their pod.

For whatever reason, there are many accounts of solo dolphin interacting with humans.

One such dolphin is Fungie. He is a male bottlenose dolphin who has been living in Dingle Harbor, Ireland, for 36 years. He began following the fishing boats into the harbor in 1983. The lighthouse keeper saw him time and time again and soon Fungie became the talk of the town. He would ride in the wakes of the boats, spinning, jumping and delighting anyone who watched. It was as if he took great joy in entertaining humans. He even does tail walks and back flips.

Fungie has chosen the safety of the harbor as his home. Even today, boat captains can count on him being there. Thousands of tourists come every summer to take a boat trip to see him. In the fall and winter, there are local swimmers who regularly brave the icy waters to go out to play with him. There is even a bronze statue of Fungie erected at the harbor.

Capt. Cathy Eagle has spent over 40 years boating in our local waters. As a professional charter captain she specializes in dolphin and nature tours. Visit CaptainCathy.com or call 239 994-2572.