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This Loyal Penguin Swims Every Year to Visit the Man Who Saved His Life

Mar 16, 2017 04:10 AM EDT
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Magellanic penguins
The story of Dindim, a Magellanic South American penguin and Joao Pereira de Souza, a 71-year-old retired bricklayer is rare.
(Photo : Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Meet the loyal penguin who swims miles every year to visit the man who once saved his life.

According to CBS News, Dindim, a Magellanic South American penguin was found by Joao Pereira de Souza, a 71-year-old retired bricklayer, in a poor situation in 2011. Dindim was covered in oil on the rocks of an island village just outside of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His inability to move and fend for himself could've lead to his death. Fortunately, Souza was kind-hearted enough to get Dindim out of that situation.

Souza took him home and nursed him for weeks, cleaning his feathers and feeding him with fish. One Green Planet reported that they spent 11 months together, and once Dindim got back on his feet, Souza decided to return him back in his natural habitat.

Souza thought that was the last time he'd see his friend. But to his and everyone's surprise, Dindim came back few months later.

Read Also: Happy Feet! A Million Penguins Flock to Argentina to Eat [VIDEO] 

The species of Dindim normally breeds on the Patagonia coasts of Argentina and Chile which is three to five thousand miles away from where the retired fisherman lives, New York Post reported.

However, Biologist Joao Paulo Krajewski, who documented the special case of Dindim said Dindim unlikely travels to Patagonia.

"This is because Dindim stays in Ilha Grande (where Proveta Beach is located) at the same time all other Magellanic penguins are breeding in Patagonia and other islands down South," Krajewski told CNN.

Souza said Dindim has never failed to visit Souza every year, usually arriving in June and leaving by February.

"I love the penguin like it's my own child and I believe the penguin loves me," said Souza in an interview with Globo TV.

"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," he added.

Krajewski told The Independent: "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."

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