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Long-finned pilot whale

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Golf Open Champion meets WDC Wild dolphin

One of the Wild Dolphins on Aberdeen’s summer art trail is briefly mixing with the golfing stars of the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open this week.

Golfin Dolphin, designed by artist Gordon Henry, has been temporarily moved from his base at the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club and is living the life of a VIP in the players’ private area for a few days, to allow the golfers – including last year’s Open champion Phil Mickelson (pictured) to autograph him.

It is hoped that the one-off, signed dolphin will raise a considerable amount of money when it is auctioned along with the other dolphins in September, with all proceeds going to The ARCHIE Foundation at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and WDC.

Golfin Dolphin will be back on public display at the start of next week.

Ronnie MacAskill, director of golf at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, said: “Royal Aberdeen Golf Club has been delighted to host one of the Wild Dolphins, before, during and after The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. There has been tremendous interest from the public and members alike.”

The Wild Dolphins project has seen 50 life-sized fibreglass sculptures of bottlenose dolphins – usually spotted off the North-east coast – popping up all over town.

Locations include the beach, harbour, parks, city centre, shopping centres and golf courses as well as Torry Battery, a known hotspot for watching real dolphins.

Each of the brightly coloured dolphins has been sponsored and then designed by an artist, commissioned from across the UK to create a design specifically for Aberdeen.

The finished designs include a pirate, a diver and Spiderman, and dolphins made of mosaics, wool and willow. Artists have also taken inspiration from the sea, trees, birds, space, local industry, the Northern Lights and the media.

Aberdeen is the latest city to benefit from the successful Wild in Art sculpture projects, which have previously seen giant cartoon Gromits in Bristol, GoGo Gorillas in Norwich and SuperLambBananas in Liverpool.

Trail maps are available from shops, libraries, community centres, hotels and other attractions and a smartphone app can be downloaded, which includes incentives and rewards for visitors who scan different Wild Dolphins on their phone.

Wild Dolphins runs to August 29. For more information on the trail, visit www.wilddolphins.org.uk or follow Wild Dolphins on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.