Penguin swims 8, 047 kilometres every year to reunite with the man who saved it from death


In 2011, Joao Pereira de Souza, 73, found a dying penguin on beach. The man quickly took the penguin to his home and nursed him back to health. But, he never thought that his act would start a lifetime relationship with the penguin.

When he found the helpless creature, the penguin was on the verge of death and starving as he lied down on boulders. The poor penguin was also fully covered in black oil. It took Joao a week to clean the sticky oil off the penguin’s feathers.

After the penguin regained his health, the old man released him back to the sea.

However, the penguin came back to the beach the next year where he immediately recognised Joao and returned home with him

Ever since then, the penguin never fails to come back every year and swims as far as 8, 047 kilometres to meet his saviour

The South American Magellanic penguin who is named Dindim by Joao would spend eight months with Joao before going back to the coastal area of Argentina and Chile for breeding season

In an interview with Globob TV, Joao said, “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,” he further added

Dindim’s daily diet consists of fish like sardine which Joao believes will give the penguin the strength it needs

Dindim usually returns to the island where Joao is staying every June and leaves to his home in February.

Every time he sees Joao, he will wag his tail and honk at him with joy

Biologist Joao Paulo Krajewski was also impressed with the unlikely yet close bond between them. He said that he never saw such relationship before and believes that Dindim has thought Joao as his own family as his behaviour is consistent and similar when a penguin meets another penguin. Even better, the expert also said that Dindim might have thought Joao as a penguin like himself!

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