It’s the story of a South American Magellanic penguin who swims 5,000 miles each year to be reunited with the man who saved his life.
Retired bricklayer and part time fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, who lives in an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found the tiny penguin, covered in oil and close to death, lying on rocks on his local beach in 2011.
Joao cleaned the oil off the penguin’s feathers and fed him a daily diet of fish to build his strength. He named him Dindim.
After a week, he tried to release the penguin back into the sea. But, the bird wouldn’t leave. ‘He stayed with me for 11 months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared,’ Joao recalls.
And, just a few months later, Dindim was back. He spotted the fisherman on the beach one day and followed him home.
For the past 5 years, Dindim has spent 8 months of the year with Joao and is believed to spend the rest of the time breeding off the coast of Argentina and Chile. It is thought he swims up to 5000 miles each year to reunite with the man that saves his life.
Biologist Professor Krajewski, who interviewed the fisherman for Globo TV, 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.
And, just like that, the world seems a kinder place again.
Source: Metro UK