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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 September, 2004, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
Dolphin boosts visitors to city
Dolphin
Young male dolphins are sociable
A dolphin which appears to have made its home in the mouth of the River Wear has helped to boost visitor numbers to the area.

The bottlenose dolphin, dubbed Andy by the National Trust, was first seen off the North East coast in August.

He has also been spotted in the Tyne, but has taken a shine to Wearside, where he follows fishing boats and swims with people.

Visitors have flocked to Roker marina, where Andy makes regular appearances.

Peter Collins, from the National Trust, said Andy's behaviour is quite common.

He said: "Andy's probably a young male, which means he'll be quite keen to be around people.

"He's been in the Tyne on a couple of occasions for short stays, but certainly prefers the Wear," he added.

'Unprecedented'

"He's certainly feeding well and he's taken a shine to the marina at Roker, where hundreds and hundreds of people have been down to see him."

Mr Collins said other dolphins have also been spotted in the region and said this was quite common as the creatures often travel in groups or 'pods'.

He added: "Since August, we've had unprecedented numbers of sightings. We think dolphins from the Moray Firth in Scotland have basically moved down the coast to find more fish.

"He's a wild creature though, so he could move off if the food is not there. But the longer he stays the better as far as I'm concerned."




SEE ALSO:
Bid to save dolphins is rejected
01 Sep 04  |  Cornwall
Dolphin lovers taking the plunge
28 Aug 04  |  Scotland
Hundreds of dolphins off coast
30 Jul 04  |  South West Wales


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