Fungie, the dolphin that has been charming visitors and locals in Dingle, Co Kerry for decades - that’s until the Covid-19 pandemic shook the world.
With government restrictions in place, Fungie hasn’t had any ‘fungi boats’ since early March and local fisherman, Jimmy Flannery has said it’s noticeable that he's lonely.
"He follows the fishing boats out but they don't have time for him. They are too busy heading to the fishing grounds," he said.
The dolphin has adapted to the human chorus of ohhh and ahhh’s over the years and now they’ve been replaced by the sounds of slow-moving fishing boats, a move Mr. Flannery says has left him feeling “not himself”.
In a bid to cheer Fungie up, fans of the bottlenose dolphin have been sending well-wishes to the Dingle Dolphin’s social media accounts.
One little admirer even decided to send the dolphin a postcard, addressed to 'Fungie, Dingle Harbour, Kerry'.
As Gaeilge, Luas said he heard the dolphin was lonely and told him not to worry his friends will be back to see him next year.
Cárta poist a fuaireamar inniú chuig ár dteach le haghaidh @fungiethedingledolphin🐬👏🏻 @DinglePeninsula @DingleSea @dinglenews pic.twitter.com/vhHM1Y3EPH— Jamie Flannery (Ó Flannúra) (@Jamie26flann) May 14, 2020
The male Atlantic bottlenose was first sighted off the coast of Dingle in 1983 and has since been named as the oldest solitary dolphin in the world by Guinness World Records.
Jimmy Flannery, who also runs Dingle Sea Safari, makes a note to say hello to Fungie throughout the day while undergoing fishing jobs in the harbour.