Tags: dindim | penguin | travels | man | saved

Dindim the Penguin Travels 5K Miles Each Year to See the Man Who Saved Its Life

Image: Dindim the Penguin Travels 5K Miles Each Year to See the Man Who Saved Its Life
(Twitter/@TV Globo)

By    |   Friday, 11 Mar 2016 11:40 AM

Dindim the penguin has an unwavering loyalty to the Brazilian man who found him covered in oil and saved him, and now the animal travels 5,000 miles every year to see his savior.

Joao Pereira de Souza, a 71-year-old retired bricklayer, discovered the South American Magellanic penguin starving and covered in oil in 2011, the Daily Mail reported. The man reportedly spent a week cleaning the bird’s feathers and nursing him back to health.

Dindim, as de Souza named the animal, wouldn’t leave when de Souza tried to release him back into the wild and ended up staying with the man for 11 months before disappearing, Metro reported. Dindim returned a few months later, though, and followed de Souza home from the beach. The penguin now spends eight months a year with his rescuer and the rest of the time breeding off the coast of Argentina and Chile.

“I love the penguin like it's my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” de Souza told Brazilian television station TV Globo, according to the Daily Mail. “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.”

“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,” biologist Joao Paulo Krajewski told The Independent.

It is illegal to keep wild animals as pets in Brazil, but the relationship between Dindim and de Souza is an isolated case that has been allowed to continue because of the man’s kindness, the U.K. newspaper said.

The Wall Street Journal posted a video report on the unlikely friendship on YouTube in October. The post has been viewed more than 3.7 million times since then.



Twitter users were touched by the story of loyalty.








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Dindim the penguin has an unwavering loyalty to the Brazilian man who found him covered in oil and saved him, and now the animal travels 5,000 miles every year to see his savior.
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Friday, 11 Mar 2016 11:40 AM
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