Joao Pereira de Souza, is a 71-year-old retired bricklayer and part time fisherman. While walking the beaches he found Dindim, a South American Magellanic penguin, covered in oil and close to death. De Souza nursed him back to health, but Dindim didn’t want to leave his side. When he finally did, De Souza was surprised to see him return the next year, and every year after. In Brazil, it’s illegal for you to keep wild animals as pets.
“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” Joao said. “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.”
“Everyone said he wouldn’t return but he has been coming back to visit me for the past four years.”
When 71-year-old Joao found this penguin covered in oil and close to death in 2011.
“He stayed with me for 11 months and then…he disappeared. But Dindim kept coming back every year, swimming 8,000 km to do so.”
“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me. When he sees him he wags his tail like a dog and honks with delight. No one else is allowed to touch him. He pecks them if they do.”
“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” said Biologist Professor Krajewski.
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