It is a moving story about the relationship between a man and a penguin.
It starts in Brazil with João Pereira de Souza, a 71-year-old retired bricklayer. One day while at work, he discovered that the South American Magallanic penguin Dindim was in danger of death.
He was covered in oil and looked hopeless. Joao tried to cure him and return him to the wild, but found Dindim reluctant to leave. Dindim wanted to be with him, and after doing so for a while, he eventually drifted off the horizon.
Joao was surprisingly visited by Dindim the following year, the year after, and every year after that.
“Everyone said he wouldn’t come back, but he has come back to me in the last 4 years.”
“I love penguin as much as my kid. I think penguin loves me,” Joao told Globo TV. “No one is allowed to touch him. When they do, he pokes them. He lays on my lap, lets me give him showers, allows me to feed him sardines and to pick him up.”
“He was with me for 11 months and then … disappeared.”
Biologist Joao Paulo Krajewski, who interviewed Pereira de Souza on Globo TV, told The Independent: “Professionals who work with animals try to avoid relationships like this occurring so they are able to reintroduce the animal into the wild. But in this one-off case, the authorities allowed Dindim to stay with Joao because of his kindness.”
He added: “I’ve never seen anything like that before. I think the penguin believes Joao is part of his family and probably a penguin as well . When he see him, he wags his tail like a dog and hums with joy.”