Penguin Swims 5000 Miles Each Year to Reunite With the Man Who Saved His Life


Joao Pereira de Souza is a 71-year old retired bricklayer who lives on an island village near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He found a little penguin that was covered in oil and close to death on the beach’s rocks in 2011.

Joao removed the oil off of the feathers of the penguin and gave him food daily for it to gain back its strength. He gave the penguin a name, Dindlim.

After a week, Joao tried to release Dindlim back to the sea but the penguin did not want to go back.

Joao stated that “He stayed with me for 11 months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared.” 

After a couple of months, the penguin came back to Joao. After seeing Joao on the beach one day, the penguin decided to follow him home. In the duration of five years, Dindlim spends eight months with Joao and the rest of the time with its kind during one of those five years.

Joao made a statement on Globo TV:

 “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.”

Professor Krajewski, a biologist, talked to Joao for Globo TV and talked to the Independent. He stated that it’s the first time he’s seen something like this. He believes that the penguin thinks Joao is part of its family. Whenever the penguin sees Joao, it wags its tail like a dog and honks.


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