Penguin swims 5,000 miles every year for reunion with man who saved his life

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In 2011, Joao Pereira de Souza, a 71-year-old fisherman, who lives in a small island village just near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found a little penguin, almost death and covered in oil, lying on rocks, near to his boat.

By nature a very good-hearted man, Joao has cleaned the penguin and feed him. He also gave him a name, Dindim. Few weeks later, when the little one had fully recovered the fisherman tried to release him back into the sea. It’s when something heart-melting just happened. Dindim refused to leave his hero. However, at some point the rescued penguin has gone. “He stayed with me for 11 months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared,” Joao said.

But, apparently, the penguin hasn’t forgot who help him when he was in such a desperate need. And after months, the bird went back on the same beach where Joao rescued him. The little one spotted the fisherman on the beach and followed him home. Since that day, the South American Magellanic penguin swims 5,000 miles every year, from the coast of Argentina and Chile, just to be reunited with the man who saved his life.

“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me. 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. He arrives in June and leaves to go home in February and every year he becomes more affectionate as he appears even happier to see me,” the fisherman described the unreal bond between him and his little very best friend. A truly heartwarming story!

“I have never seen anything like this before,” the biologist professor Krajewski told in an interview.  “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. And, just like that, the world seems a kinder place again.”

Find out more about this heartbreaking friendship in the video bellow: