Photo / Rio de Janeiro Federal University
Here’s your feel-good story for the day: a South American Magellanic penguin swims 5,000 miles each year to see the man who saved his life.
The story started in 2011, when retired bricklayer and part-time fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza saved a penguin outside Rio de Janeiro, who was covered in oil and dying. De Souza cleaned the oil off and fed him fish every day.
He named the penguin Dindim.
De Souza tried to release Dindim after a week, but Dindim stayed with de Souza for 11 months. After changing his coat of feathers, he disappeared.
The fisherman that was the end of the story, but one day, he found Dindim on the beach and the penguin followed him home. He stayed for eight months.
The penguin then began this ritual, where he would stay with de Souza from June to February, and then swim off to breed off the coast of Argentina and Chile. It has been said that Dindim swims 5,000 miles just to see the man who saved his life. He has been doing this for four years.
De Souza told Globo TV:
I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me. 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.
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