Life changed for 71-year-old bricklayer and part-time fisherman, Joao Pereira De Souza, when he rescued a South American Magellanic Penguin on an island beach outside Rio de Janeiro, 5 years ago. Covered in oil and in the clutches of death, life was pumped back into the bird, courtesy the efforts of Joao.
But that wasn't the end of the story. Even though the penguin, named Dindim, was nursed back to health, it refused to leave Pereira's side (who stayed on for 11 months at the same local beach).
What happened the very next year will definitely stir up your emotions...
Dindim swam for over 8000 kilometers to meet Pereira in Brazil!
And this happens every year! Dindim, during his (migration) pilgrimage, stops by where Pereira lives.
“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”, says Pereira.
South America Magellanic Penguins are known to breed on the coasts of Chile and Argentina. They migrate as far north as Brazil, so Dindim's behaviour isn't completely surprising. But Dindim's heartwarming gesture of stopping by where his saviour resides, gives you an idea about these highly intelligent and affectionate creatures.