Northern Ireland

Strabane: fears grow for Flipper the Foyle dolphin

Media captionA dolphin is spotted in fresh water of River Foyle

There are fears for the well-being of a dolphin or porpoise which has become stranded in a river in Strabane nearly 30 miles from the open sea.

The mammal caused quite a stir in the town since appearing at the weekend.

Locals have called it Flipper and crowds of children have been gathering on the banks of the River Foyle to catch a glimpse of it.

However, some people have begun to fear the worst as the dolphin appeared not to be moving on Tuesday afternoon.

Danny Hunter, a local angler, and his son Graham, first spotted the dolphin or porpoise in the river close to Strabane, County Tyrone, on Sunday.

They were out for a stroll at Park Road when they heard strange breathing.

Then they spotted the mammal out in the water.

"I'm 56 and I've been fishing here since I was six years old and I've never seen anything like it," said Danny.

"Nobody has seen its nose, so we're not sure if it is a dolphin or a porpoise.

"It has followed the few salmon we have in the Foyle up the river in high water. But then the water fell back and it has probably got trapped."

He added: "Last night, it was just choc-a-bloc with people. It is absolutely brilliant for the town," said Danny.

"There were loads of children out trying to get a glimpse of him."

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