This is a heartwarming story of a South American Magellanic penguin named Dindim, who swims 8000km each year to be reunited with the man who saved him 8 years ago.
In 2011, Joao Pereira de Souza, a 71 year- old fisherman who lives in the island village in Brazil, found a tiny penguin covered in oil and was close to death. Joao cleaned the oil off the penguin’s feathers, nursed him back to health and give him a name Dindim.
After some time, Dindim was ready for the world out there, so Joao decided to release him back into the sea. However, the penguin didn’t want to leave. “He stayed with me for 11 months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared,” Joao said. When he did, people said that he’d never return.
Amazingly, just a few months later, Dindim has returned to visit the fisherman. The couple was reunited again this has been going on every year since. Nobody really knows where he goes after he leaves and some people have speculated he spends the rest of the time breeding off the coast of Argentina and Chile. But what is clear is every year he goes away and every year he comes back to see Joao.
“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.”
“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.”
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