A small group of three common dolphins surprised shoppers yesterday lunchtime when they turned up in the heart of Cork City. The trio made their way through Cork Harbour and up the River Lee’s South Channel in front of the newly constructed Cork School of Music.
"It’s certainly an unusual occurrence but it is not without precedent," said Pádraig Whooley of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). "They may have been over-zealous in their hunting and pursued fish up the river, in which case we would hope that they will safely make their way back to open water again," he said.
Reports yesterday evening suggested that Cork’s impromptu day-trippers were heading back into deeper water with the dropping tide.
The city on the Lee is no stranger to cetacean encounters – most famously when 3 killer whales swam up the river’s South Channel into the City Centre in June 2001. The following summer a juvenile male Risso’s dolphin made its way upriver to Fr. Mathew Quay in the centre of the city.