'Foyle Flipper' found dead

Published Wednesday, 23 July 2014
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A dolphin, dubbed the Foyle Flipper by locals, which found its way along the River Foyle to Strabane has died.

'Foyle Flipper' found dead
The dolphin drew hundreds of people to the area. (© Danny Hunter)

The animal was spotted in the river close to the Lifford Bridge in the area on Sunday by local fisherman Danny Hunter who was out walking.

At the time Danny told UTV: "I was shocked, you would not think to ever see a dolphin at all in the Foyle, especially off the Boghill Road in Strabane, 35 miles away from the sea."

It was thought the animal had got trapped in the river because of the low tide.

And when news of the dolphin's appearance spread, hundreds of people swarmed to the area to catch a glimpse which led to it getting the name, the Foyle Flipper.

Danny, who runs a local fishery, said the rare sighting was the talk of the area and far beyond.

He added: "People were coming down to the area in their droves to see it.

"There were cars parked all over and when it was on the news even more people came.

"My wife works in Altnagelvin and everyone was talking about it up there."

However, on Wednesday, the animal was found dead washed up on an island in the river.

Danny added: "It's sad, people have still been coming to see it and have found it dead - there are kids in floods of tears.

"The really sad thing is, is that today was a high tide and it probably would have been able to escape and swim back to the sea.

"It's sad and strange and I just hope a lesson has been learned.

"But there is so much wildlife here. We have seals, otters, and kingfishers. People don't seem to realise there is such great wildlife on their doorstep."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
5 Comments
Phil in Belfast wrote (89 days ago):
For goodness sake why did those with the resources not capture and return the poor creature back to the sea? Something lacking in ye's.
Shane in Strabane wrote (90 days ago):
Lee thats an awful attitude. your mother and especially your father would be ashamed. Foyle Flipper was a good name. Although it was also known as Savina the dolpin in the local news paper. If only someone in the area was trained to deal with this sort of thing maybe the poor thing would still be alive :(
mwright in co Antrim wrote (91 days ago):
Ahh well never mind, I'm sure uve alotta friends Mr hate the world
lee in strabane wrote (91 days ago):
aahhhh well never mind
Steve in County Down wrote (91 days ago):
They should have done more to try and save it and get it back to the ocean quickly.
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