Penguin swims 5,000 miles every year for reunion with the man who saved his life

It tells the story of a South American Magellanic penguin who swims 5,000 miles each year to see the man who saved his life.Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, a retired bricklayer and part-time fisherman who lives in an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, discovered the tiny penguin, covered in oil and near death, lying on rocks on his local beach in 2011.Joao cleaned the oil from the penguin’s feathers and fed him fish every day to help him gain strength.Dindim was his name.

After a week, he attempted to re-release the penguin into the sea.But the bird refused to fly away.He stayed with me for 11 months and then vanished just after he changed his coat with new feathers,’ Joao recalls.Dindim reappeared only a few months later.He saw the fisherman on the beach and followed him home one day.

Dindim has spent eight months of the year with Joao for the past five years and is thought to spend the rest of the time breeding off the coasts of Argentina and Chile.Every year, he swims up to 5,000 miles to be reunited with the man who saved his life.

‘I love the penguin as if it were my own child, and I believe the penguin loves me,’ Joao said on Globo TV.No one else is permitted to touch him.If they do, he pecks them.
He sits on my lap, lets me give him showers, feed him sardines, and pick him up.Everyone said he wouldn’t come back, but he’s been coming to see me for the past four years.He comes in June and leaves in February, and each year he becomes more affectionate as he appears even happier to see me.’

‘I have never seen anything like this before,’ said biologist Professor Krajewski, who interviewed the fisherman for Globo TV.I believe the penguin believes Joao is a member of his family and most likely a penguin as well.When he sees him, he wags his tail and honks in delight.And suddenly, the world appears to be a kinder place.