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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 5 December, 2019
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Incredible new footage shows age-defying Fungi in flying form

Dingle’s most famous resident is normally a solitary animal, but he’s been splashing about with a couple of old friends for the last few days….

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[Image: Jeannine Masset and Rudi Schamhart]

“HE’S HOLDING HIS own that’s for sure.”

Paschal Dower of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group says Fungis’ exploits over the last four days show there’s plenty of life left in Dingle’s most famous resident.

Although the mammal, who arrived in Dingle Bay in 1983, is a huge fan of human company, often spending hours swimming alongside boats, locals say that in the past he’s often shunned the friendship of other dolphins.

According to Jeannine Masset and Rudi Schamhart, who make regular trips to photograph him:

“He has had so many other dolphin visitors this year that he completely avoided — he then hides very close to the rocks and has several other hiding places, or he hides behind our dinghy.

“When they come close, he lands on top of them and shows them where to go.

However, “with these two he gets along brilliantly.”

The other dolphins, who have been spotted in the area before, arrived on Saturday. The three have been darting about and performing an impressive range of acrobatic exploits ever since (well, they are dolphins).

Masset and Schamhart were out in the Bay to capture the magic:


(Youtube: Rudi Schamhart)

Bottlenose dolphins can live up to the age of fifty — although their lifespan in the wild is generally a lot shorter.

Dower says no-one’s able to put a figure on Fungi’s age (he was already fully grown when he arrived in Kerry in the early 80s) but he’s sporting a few Clooney-esque wrinkles these days…image

[Image: Jeannine Masset and Rudi Schamhart]

However, Dower says there’s been no rumours of him being ill “or leaving us or anything”.

The mammal’s been a huge tourist attraction in Dingle for the last three decades, with boats departing to watch him swim daily.

It will have a “huge effect” when he’s no longer around, Dower says.

“By the looks of it, that’s not going to happen anytime soon”

You can head over to the Fungi Forever Facebook page to see  more pictures dating back to 1993>

Fungi the Dolphin is alive and well>

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