Dingle's most famous resident Fungie has been welcoming visitors to Dingle for over thirty years. This friendly bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) swims playfully alongside the boats in Dingle Harbour. Boat trips run from Dingle Harbour all year.
The Dingle Dolphin -- or Fungie, the name given to him by the fishermen -- is a fully grown, possibly middle aged, male bottlenose. He weighs in at around one-quarter tonne (500 lbs.) and measures in the region of four metres (13 feet). Although it is by no means unique to find these usually social, open creatures living alone in a "restricted" zone and befriending humans, it is still a relatively rare world event, and Fungie is Ireland's first recorded occurrence. From observation of (playful) body scarring it seems he does still frequently encounter other whales, dolphins or porpoises, proving perhaps he is neither true hermit nor outcast from his own kind, but rather that he is simply content with his current circumstances. No one really knows why some of these creatures suddenly take to a solitary way of life, but perhaps his persistence in maintaining it and physical conditions would at least indicate the area is a welcoming home with not too many natural dangers.
The working vessels that regularly cross the dolphin's chosen territory, remain his main priority, and it is a rare and special privilege when he remains with a vessel during their seaward or homeward passages. During the summer months Fungie is often seen taking fish in the harbour mouth. On several occasions he has been observed catching a fish commonly known as a "Garfish", a species which had not previously been recorded as part of a dolphin's diet. During the winter months he must travel further afield for his nourishment.