Three Shannon dolphins, who captured the publics imagination earlier this year when they took up residence in shallow waters close to Bunratty, were discovered safe and well over the weekend.
The Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation (SDWF) have been attempting to locate the dolphins since they were last sighted in Bunratty in April.
The “Bunratty Three” were spotted by a monitored dolphin tour boat in the deep water of the Shannon Estuary on Friday.
The dolphins were last spotted in Bunratty on April 13 and the SDWF and other dolphin group were keen to confirm that they had managed to reconnect with their main Dolphin population.
“The SDWF carry out annual monitoring of the dolphins from dolphin tour boats operating from Kilrush and Carrigaholt, and during dedicated boat transects,” said a spokesperson from SDWF.
“During the first monitoring trip from Kilrush this week, three dolphins were recorded by the SDWF. Each dolphin in this small, discrete population is important and it is reassuring to know that the ‘Bunratty Three’ are healthy and have rejoined the Shannon population.”
Thousands of people traveled to see the dolphins during their two week long stay in Bunratty earlier this year.
It was originally thought that the dolphins were trapped in the shallow water in Bunratty and were unable to swim underneath a nearby bridge because of the sound of heavy traffic.
A rescue attempt was planned but an expert assessment of the dolphins condition revealed that the animals were in good condition and in no immediate danger.
The dolphins eventually left the shallow estuary but were unaccounted for for the three months leading up to last weeks confirmed sighting.

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Andrew has been working in the media in the West of Ireland for more than a decade. During that time he has been shortlisted for many national journalism awards, served as a judge for the Choice Music Prize in 2008 and was part of the nominating panel for the Meteor Ireland Music Awards from 2008 to 2011. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Relation and a BA in English, Sociology and Politics. He is currently working on his debut novel. A selection of his writings, including a number of new short stories can be viewed on Fighting Talk - Follow Andrew on twitter: @Andrew_CPeople Contact Andrew on [email protected]

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