Around the world there exist a number of ‘Ambassador’ dolphins. These are individual dolphins who have chosen to spend most of their lives interacting with humans. They often live in bays near towns and can be reliably seen on a daily basis approaching boats, swimmers and putting on a show for people who come to see them. Today, I thought it would be fun to introduce you to Fungie, the most well known of the Ambassador dolphins. Fungie lives in Dingle Bay in Ireland and the entire town loves and celebrates his presence in their little bay. He first appeared in Dingle Bay in 1983 and to this day seeks out the company of humans to play with.
Several years ago I was asked by a researching studying the phenomena of Ambassador dolphins to communicate with Fungie about why he has chosen to spend so much time with people and here is what I received:
– “I love humans!”
– “ When I was a young adult dolphin I was a bit reckless and was caught in a fishing net. My family was frightened of the fishermen and fled. A very kind fisherman found me and very lovingly cut me free. He even fed me some of his fish as I was very weak when he found me. I did not have the strength to search for my family right away. I felt lost, alone and frightened and found shelter near Dingle Bay and I made friends with the people there.”
– “I love to see and feel the Joy and Love of the humans when they see me.”
– “I hate it when people ignore me. I am so happy when people pay attention to me and even get in the water with me.”
– “I am a ray of warm sunshine in a cold and drab place.”
– “My soul purpose is to reach out to humans and show them interspecies kindness as an example of how humans should treat each other and all life on the planet.”
– “Come see me, come play with me. Do not be afraid of me. I bring only Joy, Love and Appreciation to you.”
– “You should bring more to see me. Children and autistic, mentally handicapped and depressed people. Spending time with me will really help them the most.”
– Dr. Horace Dobbs of the UK has brought several clinically depressed people to swim with Fungie and other Ambassador dolphins and after just one swim with these dolphins, these people who had been completely controlled by overwhelming sadness, came away from the experience able to function in the world again! They were able to now hold down jobs, have relationships with their loved ones and handle life without sinking back into depression!
– Bill Bowell, 65, had suffered from chronic depression for years reports after swimming with Fungie one time: “It was a moving experience and one I will never forget. Since then I have swum with dolphins on several occasions, in Wales and in Ireland. I am now fully recovered; I take no medication and have returned to work. I am finally able to talk to my children again after almost 10 years of barely knowing who they were.”
– If spending just a few hours with Fungie can so drastically improve the life of someone severely affected by depression, just imagine what spending time with the dolphins will do for you!
I hope you have enjoyed this week’s Whale and Dolphin Wisdom newsletter and feel free to share it with your friends who love whales and dolphins too.
CoAuthor of the Bestselling book Dolphins & Whales Forever
Author of the forthcoming book Listening with your Heart
The Original Whale Watching Company in Panama