There were concerns for the dolphin's welfare after he hadn't been spotted in a few days but thankfully, all is well, and Fungie has popped his lovely head above water once again.
Alarm bells started ringing down in the Kingdom this week after locals realised that it had been a few days since they had last seen Fungie the dolphin swimming about. The county's most well-recognised resident, local boatman Jimmy Flannery told RTÉ that it was "unusual" for Fungie to go missing - sending the country into near meltdown with thoughts of "but, what if...".
I won't go there, and thankfully, I don't need to, as Skipper Paul Hand comes bearing good news this morning, spotting Fungie alongside his boat twice in the past day. Phew!
— The Skipper (@SkipperEditor) October 15, 2020
First arriving in Dingle in the 1980s, Fungie remains as one of the most popular draws to the area so it's safe to say we'd all be devo if anything happened to him.
Reassuring the public that there's no need to panic, Paul Hand told RTÉ that he is "one thousand per cent certain" it was Fungie he saw. "I've been looking at him for the last 40 years. It was definitely him. He swam alongside my boat for a spell as I headed out into the bay."
Also commenting on why Fungie may have gone missing for a few days, the Skipper has put it down to increase dolphin activity in the area.
"There's a share of other bottlenose dolphins out in the bay at the moment because the place is full of sprat. I saw at least five or six of them out there yesterday.
"There's a lot of feeding going on and what's happening is Fungie's is following the fishing boats out into the bay and is deciding to stay feeding with the other dolphins. He is enjoying the company."
Very happy Fungie is safe and well. 2020 has been hard enough and I think losing another of the country's most beloved animal mascots would be the cherry on top of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year.
Header image via Shutterstock/Fungie the dolphin