RIO DE JANEIRO - A South American Magellanic penguin swims 5,000 miles every year so that he can meet the man who saved his life.
71-year-old part-time fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza of Rio de Janeiro found the tiny penguin on a local beach in 2011. The penguin was covered in oil and close to death, lying on rocks.
Joao saved the penguin’s life by cleaning off the oil from its feathers and named him Dindim. He even fed the bird daily with fish to build his strength. A week later when the old man tried to release the penguin back into the sea, Dindim did not leave.
The bird stayed with him for 11 months but disappeared as soon as he changed his coat with new feathers. The story does not end here.
After a few months, Dindim was back! The bird spotted the fisherman on the beach and followed him home. Since then the penguin spends 8 months of the year with Joao and breeds off the coast of Argentina and Chile for the rest of the year.
It is believed that the bird swims up to 5, 000 miles every year to be with the man who saved his life. Dindim visits Joao in June and leaves in February.