Charting interactions between dolphins and people
Irish Dolphins - Interactions between dolphins and people.  Including Fungie the Dingle Dolphin
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Dusty in Doolin

The unique topography of the Doolin site, where Dusty was resident in 2000, set the parameters for some particular patterns of interaction in the summer of that year. Cliffs extend south from near Doolin all the way to the famous Cliffs of Moher and beyond, in places eroded to form sea-caves and exposed to the worst of the southwesterly seas. At one point a pair of rocky outcrops – one just about covered at mean high water, and the other rising 15m above sea level – jut out into the bay and create a gully about 50m long.view over the gully and the Jump at Doolin This is protected from the worst of the waves and can be extremely calm and sheltered at times. The gully gradually narrows to only 8m wide at the entrance to a large sea-cave with a water depth of 5-8m. Some 10m above the mouth of the cave is a small ledge known as ‘The Jump’ from which the local braves like to launch themselves into the deep water below. The rock outcrop in the outer part of the gully is another jumping-off point. Both the sight and sound of people jumping into the sea from these points would be visible and audible to a dolphin from some distance out and may have first attracted her to the spot.

The rock formations also create a series of natural steps so that it was relatively easy (when the surfaces were not wet and slippery from rain) to descend all the way to the water’s edge and so to go in swimming within the sheltered gully. At the same time, the dolphin could swim right in to this area to interact with people, while keeping plenty of water depth under her, allowing for easy escape if necessary.

Click here for Dusty's Location notes in Fanore

Date Posted: 08/04/2002
Date Edited: 04/05/2003

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