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A penguin's friend for life

Mar 11, 2016

A man in Brazil saved a penguin’s life before releasing him back into the wild. Now the penguin comes back to visit him eight months out of the year after spawning season.


A penguin and a retired bricklayer are birds of a feather.

Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, from an island off Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found the flightless bird in distress in 2011 — covered in oil and floundering on the beach.

He rescued the South American Magellanic penguin, spent a week cleaning its sticky feathers, nursed him to health and named him Dindim, before setting him free in the wild, according to the Daily Mail.

But several months later, de Souza was shocked to see that Dindim had returned to the island, and even more stunned when the penguin seemed to recognize his savior and waddled home with him.

“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” de Souza said.

“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….”

“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-on-one time with me,” he said. “It’s a very special relationship.”

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Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones