A SOLITARY dolphin famous for travelling long distances has turned up near a Dorset coast. 

Photos and videos have been captured of a bottlenose dolphin swimming around Portland over the past few days.

The dolphin is believed to be Clet, who is known for his distinctive scarring on his dorsal fin. He was named by residents in Brittany back in 2008 after he was caught following fishing boats.

Clet has hit the headlines in the past for showing aggressive behaviour towards swimmers off the coast of Ireland.

He's also been spotted off the coasts of Cornwall, Wales and Scotland.

The above photo was taken by Steve Belasco in Balaclava Bay on Tuesday. Clet was spotted again on Wednesday in Portland Harbour by Mark Rowles, who also captured a video of the dolphin.

The dolphin’s emergence has brought back fresh memories of Randy the dolphin, who took up a residency in waters off Weymouth and Portland in 2002.

Randy became a celebrity along the Dorset coast, attracting thousands of visitors to the borough all hoping to swim with the friendly dolphin.

Julie Hatcher, marine awareness officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said she had become aware of Clet via social media but assumed the sighting was recorded from a different Portland.

Nevertheless, Ms Hatcher said it wasn’t uncommon to see dolphins in the area.

She said: “We have a semi-resident pod of dolphins that regularly visit the Dorset coast and in particular are seen around Durlston Head and around Portland Bill.

“They are part of a south-west population.

“I don’t think from the sounds of it that this dolphin is part of the group.”

The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, which is based on the Isle of Mull, Scotland, have been monitoring Clet’s journey as well as the bottlenose dolphin population as a whole.

Dr Conor Ryan, sightings and strandings officer at the trust, said: “His journey has been incredible. He was here (Scotland) in November and at the end of December he was off the Isle of Man.

“There are places he will settle down for a few months. It’s very hard to know what his home range is.

“He has acquired some new rake marks since he was off Isle of Mull last December, indicating recent aggressive interactions with other bottlenose dolphins.

“He’s definitely one of the longest distance movers in the UK and probably in Europe for his species.

“His dorsal fin damage could be from a boat propeller because it’s quite a deep gash.

“If people have photographs, it would be great if they could send them over to us as well as the Sea Watch Foundation and report their sightings.”