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Six missing Fungie sightings 'mistaken identity' - experts

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Dingle dolphin Fungie disappeared nearly a month ago

Dingle dolphin Fungie disappeared nearly a month ago

Dingle dolphin Fungie disappeared nearly a month ago

Six reported sightings of missing dolphin Fungie off Kerry have been dismissed as cases of mistaken identity.

The sightings - all reported over the past three weeks - had raised hopes that the famous Dingle dolphin might be exploring new waters before eventually returning to the west Kerry harbour.

Fungie has been missing for nearly a month.

Dingle locals, including fisherman Jimmy Flannery and Dingle OceanWorld director Kevin Flannery, said Fungie had never disappeared for more than 24 hours since he first arrived to the delight of local people and visitors in 1983.

A total of six credible sightings of Fungie were reported over the past fortnight, stretching around the coast from Ballyferriter to Inch.

All were treated as genuine, with local people supplying the time and location of the sighting as well as a description of what had been seen.

Whales

Fishermen and marine experts had worked to investigate all the sightings.

However, all of them are now being treated as cases of mistaken identity.

In one case, the sighting is believed to have been of a common dolphin feeding on a shoal of sprat. Fungie is a bottlenose dolphin.

In two cases, people are believed to have confused humpback whales at a distance with Fungie.

One local diver said Fungie was easily identifiable because of a notch-type marking on his fin.

Kevin Flannery said that while Fungie's legacy in Dingle is undisputed, the odds are that he has dis- appeared as mysteriously as he first appeared in the bay 37 years ago.

"I think the likely and sad inevitability is that Fungie has moved on," he said.

"However, he will never be forgotten in Dingle."


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