Dolphin on call

All of us want to see the big ocean-goers, but all we usually get is a tantalising glimpse of a dark fin breaking the surface. It's not often that we can call one up on cue. This is Fungi, a bottlenose dolphin, but he's not in a dolphinarium - this is southwest Ireland, in Dingle Bay. Fungi adopted the harbour, the boats and divers about 5 years ago. Like any newcomer, Fungi initially was very timid and wary of people. But that's all gone and now he responds pretty quickly to the throb of an engine or the bang of metal. He is very scarred. All the scars and scratches on his skin are normal for a wild dolphin or whale. They come from a number of sources - males fight a lot, much more than we might expect. There may be shark attacks or even collisions with boats. But most surprisingly of all, their prey - octopus and squid - can leave their mark during battle.

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