Love stories aren’t just limited to people—sometimes, they involve a person and a penguin. If you ever doubted that animals form an undeniable bond with humans, this story will make you a believer.
Since 2011, a South American Magellanic penguin has swam approximately 8,000 Kilometers a year to see Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, who lives in an island village outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The two met in 2011, when de Souza, a part-time fisherman and retired bricklayer, found the penguin near the beach, covered in oil and struggling to live. De Souza cleaned him off in the shower, fed him sardines, and had him rest, naming him Dindim in the process.
A week later, de Souza thought the bird would be ready to go back into the sea, but Dindim had other plans—and stayed with de Souza for 11 months. Then “…just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared,” said de Souza.
But, a few months later, de Souza had a surprise visitor… the penguin. Dindim saw him and followed him to his house. Since 2011, Dindim spends about eight months per year with de Souza, and probably the rest of the year off the coast of Argentina and Chile, 5,000 to 8,000 KMs away, breeding. “I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” de Souza said to Globo TV.
Talk about animal instincts. But what do scientists say?
“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. When he sees him he wags his tail like a dog and honks with delight.” Biologist Professor Krajewski, who spoke to de Souza for Globo TV. Scientists say that penguins are loyal, staying with the same mate for life, and they live for approximately 25 years.
See full video here: https://youtu.be/6McB0jhPWqs