Penguin Travels 5,000 Miles Every Year To Visit The Human That Saved His Life

BY MARK PYGAS

In 2011, retired bricklayer Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, who lives in an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found a tiny penguin covered in oil and close to death.

Naming the penguin Dindim, Joao nursed the bird back to health. Dindim refused multiple attempts at release back into the wild, until he suddenly vanished more than 11 months later, shortly after he changed his coat.

Brazilian man and his penguin
Rio de Janeiro Federal University

But Dindim refused to stay away for too long. Just a few months later, Joao spotted him on the beach again.

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Rio de Janeiro Federal University
For the past five years, Dindim has spent eight months of the year with Joao, travelling 5,000 miles from his breeding grounds in Argentina and Chile.

 

“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” Joao told Globo TV.

 

“No one else is allowed to touch him. He pecks them if they do. He lays on my lap, lets me give him showers, allows me to feed him sardines and to pick him up.”

“Everyone said he wouldn’t return but he has been coming back to visit me for the past four years. He arrives in June and leaves to go home in February and every year he becomes more affectionate as he appears even happier to see me.”

Biologist Professor Krajewski told The Independent:

“I have never seen anything like this before. I think the penguin believes Joao is part of his family and probably a penguin as well. When he sees him he wags his tail like a dog and honks with delight.”

This is worthy of a Disney movie. (h/t Metro)


Thanks to Distractify for this article

 

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