Fungie the Dolphin has finally made it into the Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest solitary dolphin.
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He was first sighted off the coast of Dingle in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1983, and is believed to be 40 years old.
Legend has it that Fungie has roamed the waters since his partner tragically died – or at least that’s what some of the local tour guides on Kerry’s Dingle Peninsula claim.
Either way the friendly aquatic mammal has created a healthy tourist industry in Dingle with about 11 boats, employing about 30 people, bringing visitors to see Fungie every summer.
However, he is not the only lone ranging dolphin capturing the attention of tourists.
Another Atlantic bottlenose dolphin named JoJo, who resides in the waters off Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos islands in the Caribbean, has also been leading a solitary lifestyle since the 1980s.
However, precise dates when JoJo arrived and settled there are debated. Some reports put it as early as 1980. US wildlife advocate Dean Bernal, who is now JoJo’s official guardian, first met him on a visit in 1984. This date is verified.
The Guiness World Records based their findings on a 2019 report reviewing the world’s documented lone whales and dolphins published by cetacean charity Marine Connection.
The report revealed that bottlenose dolphins are by far the most likely cetaceans to “go solo”, representing 78 of the 114 recorded individuals. The second most common species were beluga whales.
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