Thousands of Irish adults will recall being brought to Dingle on summer holidays as children, with everlong dolphin Fungi the main attraction of the holiday.
But everyone’s favourite friendly dolphin Fungi has a new, more contrary rival to the title of the nation’s most famous dolphin – meet Dusty.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group have issued a warning for Aran Island swimmers to be careful following the arrival of bottlenose dolphin ‘Dusty’, otherwise known as ‘Sandy’.
Last summer, after as many as five swimmers were injured off the coast of Co. Clare while interacting with the bottlenose dolphin, who had frequented the area for about 14 years, warning signs were placed around Doolin harbour.
But now it seems the dolphin has moved North-West and has settled around Inis Oírr.
Dr Simon Berrow, the IWDG Executive Officer released an online statement on Sundayand called Dusty ‘an amazing dolphin’ who shows ‘no fear of humans’, as shown here in this video of her playing with a boy in Doolin Pier last year.
He said: “There is great concern on the island that Sandy might cause serious injury. It was decided that doing nothing was not an option and people visiting Inis Oírr need to be warned of the potential dangers of swimming with Sandy.
“IWDG agreed to prepare posters and leaflets for distribution on the island advising about these concerns. It was agreed that the option of excluding a part of the beach so swimmers can swim without being exposed to Sandy needs to be explored.
“We are trying to make the Sandy experience positive and encourage everyone visiting or living on the island to not swim with sandy but admire her from the pier, shore or boats. The island welcomes all visitors, including Sandy, but does not want any harm to come to anybody.”
They also issued a safety and awareness guide which can be viewed below:
Last year the dolphin caused five people to be hospitalised, one of which who had to be transferred back to Germany after being rammed by the marine mammal.
Last year Dusty was filmed by people at the beach, and could be seen to be quite agitated by the humans playing in the water around her.