Saturday 18 November 2017

Watch: Dusty the Wild Atlantic Way dolphin gives Fungi a run for his money with show for island day-trippers

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A photographer has captured the adorable moment that Dusty the dolphin entertained visitors at the Aran Islands.

Elaine Farrell was waiting for a ferry to Inis Oirr when she spotted the Wild Atlantic Way dolphin at the harbour.

"Dusty the dolphin was already in the harbour as we sailed in, and he put on quite a show for all the day-trippers to the island.

"I was the only person on the harbour when I noticed someone snorkeling in the water with the dolphin," Elaine Farrell told Independent.ie.

"They swam alongside each other, the dolphin following the swimmer when she got out of the water, rolling over to have his belly rubbed. Dusty clearly enjoyed the human contact."

Elaine said that the playful dolphin put on a show for over two hours.

However, experts warned today that swimming with dolphins can be dangerous.

Simon Berrow, of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, said that Dusty, also known as Sandy, has previously displayed aggressive ‘ramming’ behaviours.

In one case in Doolin, Co. Clare a woman suffered a compressed vertebrae, a broken rib and damage to her lungs.

 “Our advice would be: don’t swim with the dolphins.  If you have to, remember they are wild animals so don’t grab or chase them. Respect their distance and don’t do anything stupid. It’s hard to know what will set off aggressive behaviour,” Mr Berrow said.

He said that while there have been no serious incidents involving Dusty this summer, there have been a few near-misses.

“There is a real and serious fear of death or paralysis if Dusty ‘strikes’ a child with the same force as she has used in the past,” he added.

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