Penguin swims 5.000 miles each year just to visit fisherman friend

The dog is usually considered best friend, but for 71 year old fisherman João Pereira de Souza, from the state of Rio de Janeiro – Brazil, a less traditional animal came to his fondness – ‘Dindin’ a South American Magellanic penguin. They met in 2011 when Dindin was washed up on the shores on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Filthy with oil, exausted and famished, João took care of Dindin until he was fully well and recovered. But even though the swimming bird refused to leave, untill one day he finally left.

dindin 03

But to his surprise and general amazement Dindin came back the year later after a 5000 miles swim from the freezing Southern Antartic waters just to see his old freind again. And Dindin has kept coming back each year to visit João. “I love the penguin as if he were my own child and I believe the Penguin loves me too” João told a brazilian Television. “No one else is allowed to touch him. He pecks whoever tries to stroke him. He lays in my lap, he lets me give him a bath, I feed him sardines and he eats out of my hand. “

Brazilian man and his penguin credit Rio de Janeiro Federal University

Though its ilegal to keep wild animals as pets in Brazil, noone has challenged the friend ship between Dindin and João. Specialists are amazed by the behaviour of the Atlantic swimmer. He wags his tail and honks, some what like a domestic dog would do to its owner. Speculation is that he considers João as one of the family worth a visit every year. Studies into Dindins behaviour will continue.

Images: Rede Globo and Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

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