Love knows no boundary. Meet Dindim, a penguin who is in love with it’s best friend, a human being. Yes, that’s right.
Joao Pereira de Souza, a 71-year-old retired bricklayer and a part time fisherman in Brazil, found this South American Magellanic penguin, stranded on a beach on an island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The penguin was covered in oil and starving to death. Joao quickly took the little fellow home. He nursed the penguin by showering it time and again with water to clean the oil off it’s feathers. He also fed the penguin a daily diet of fish so that it can recover it’s strength. After a week of nursing when he took the creature back to the sea, Dindim refused to leave as it found a friend in it’s savior. A friendship was born this day that still continues to grow.
Dindim didn’t leave Joao and stayed with him for 11 more months. While he continued to give him showers and food, the penguin grew new feathers coat and the day came when it finally left. This all happened in the year 2011. The penguin went back to it’s home at Patagonia coasts of Argentina and Chile, which is roughly 8000 kms away. At this time Joao thought that he has seen last of his companion. But he was surprised when the penguin returned the next year, to stay with the fisherman at his home in Brazil for eight months and this has been going on for last four years.
In the words of Mr Pereira de Souza “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.” He further goes on to say that “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.”
Biologist Joao Paulo Krajewski, who interviewed Mr Pereira de Souza says “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.” It is illegal for people of Brazil, to keep wild animals as pets. But Joao and the penguin have a different story and happy ending. Prof Krajewski adds “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 isolated case the authorities allowed Dindim to stay with Joao because of his kindness.”
Mr Joao Pereira de Souza really considers this as a very special relationship. He says “I’m flattered Dindim is happy to exchange his home with thousands of other penguins every year to find his way here to spend one-to-one time with me.”
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