Bottlenose dolphin Yoda found far, far away from his original Moray Firth home; the lone dolphin has been making the waters of the Baltic Sea off Denmark his home for the past year, and locals had dubbed him Delle before he was identified
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A DOLPHIN named after a beloved Star Wars character who disappeared a long time ago has been found in a sea far, far away.
Yoda, who is 13, is one of the famous Moray Firth bottlenose dolphins.
But while fellow family members like his mother, Chewbacca, and his siblings Kenobi and Skywalker are still a familiar sight in Highland waters, Yoda hasn't been seen for almost three years.
Or, at least, that's what people thought.
For a dolphin known as Delle has long been enchanting onlookers off the town of Svendborg, which sits on the Danish island of Funen in the Baltic Sea.
And, when experts took a closer look at his dorsal fin, it was a perfect match for Yoda's.
What's more, the force is very much with this young dolphin. For, while his self-imposed exile mirrors that of his Star Wars namesake, Yoda is understood to be thriving in his new Baltic home.
Highland-based cetacean charity Marine Connection is overjoyed. And its programmes officer Liz Sandeman said that even though Yoda appears to be on his own, he is fit and healthy and has been taken to the hearts of the local people since he first appeared off the coast there a year ago.
She said: "We have just received the incredible news that Delle is Yoda.
"For many years Marine Connection has been monitoring the phenomenon of solitary cetaceans and since November 2019 we have been networking with colleagues in the Svendborg area of Denmark, with regards to a solitary male bottlenose dolphin which was given the name Delle," she said.
"Will this young male return to his home ground? Many of the Moray dolphins are certainly moving out of their normal range. One female from the population, known as Moonlight, is currently in the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.
"Moonlight was first sighted last summer and in the autumn gave birth to a calf, both of whom continue to make the Isle of Man home."
To find out more about the work that Marine Connection does, visit its website at marineconnection.org .