Penguin Travels 5,000 Miles Every Year For Reunion With Fisherman Who Rescued Him

A 74-year-old animal lover, Joao Pereira de Souza, found a penguin that was struggling to catch its last breath on the beach just outside Rio de Janeiro in 2011. Joao’s humane instincts lead him to rescue the penguin and take care of him until he could regain his health.

Little did he know that his act of kindness would build a long-term relationship with the penguin.

Joao found the dying penguin in agonizing pain and a starved state as he laid helplessly. The penguin was covered in black oil. Joao took an entire week to wipe the penguin clean of it. Soon after the penguin was back on its feet, Joao released him back to nature. Surprisingly, the penguin returned to the very place he was saved by Joao after a year. Together they went home. Out of apparent gratitude, the penguin visits Joao every year at the same spot, 5,000 miles away from his original home.

With time, Joao and the penguin became more than acquaintances and were now buddies. He even named the South American Magellanic penguin Dindim. The two nurtured their friendship and even spent eight months together before heading back to the coastal area of Chile and Argentina in time for breeding.

apost.com

This peculiar friendship between man and penguin attracted media coverage in which Globo TV had an interview with the old man. Joao confessed to loving the penguin as his own child and believed that it was a mutual feeling, as cited by GT Goodtimes.

He continued to state that the penguin had become so friendly around him that he allowed him to touch and feed him as he desired. He pecked other strangers if they tried. 

The old man also dedicates himself to feeding Dindim fish that would help him recover fully. The penguin’s vacations with Joao are often scheduled every year in June and ending in February, marking eight months annually.

You will notice the penguin’s joy and excitement every time he sees Joao: he tags his tail and tootles to signal his happiness. The 74-year-old former bricklayer derives so much pride in the special close bond between him and Dindim. He believes that penguin acts like that in its belief that Joao is part of his family, as reported by Winkflashblog.

What do you think about this unique relationship? Let us know in the comments and pass this along to any animal lovers you know!