A friendly bottlenose dolphin has been spotted off the coast of Kinsale in Cork of late. While many believed it to be the celeb dolphin Fungie, it would seem that the theory has been debunked.
Fungie of Dingle had fame across the globe, but last October, he was reported missing. Last December subsequently saw the broadcast of the programme 'Fungie's Kingdom', which investigated the mystery around his disappearance.
Emer Keaveney, a marine mammal ecologist and executive director of Ocean Research and Conservation Ireland (ORCA Ireland), told the Irish Independent that "it's not the same animal."
She had compared detailed photos of Fungie and the solitary dolphin in Cork.
Keaveney noted how while the world-famous dolphin has grey cheeks, the cheeks of the other dolphin are whiter, which indicates that it is a juvenile.
She said that the more recently sighted dolphin is likely to be a copycat, imitating Fungie's behaviour, and probably not a relative.
ORCA Ireland is encouraging anyone who spots a dolphin to log their encounters to #FindFungie, saying: "It’s not just Fungie that’s important, they’re all important."
It is possible that Fungie has died, having turned approximately 40 years old in 2019.
Here were some of the Twitter reactions to the recent spotting of the doppelganger dolphin.