The Penguin and the Fisherman -
Today’s most heartwarming story is brought to you from a beach in Brazil. It’s the story of a South American Magellanic penguin who swims five thousand miles each year to be reunited with the man who saved his life.
Retired bricklayer and part time fisherman Joao Perei de Souza, seventy-one, who lives in an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found the tiny penguin, covered in oil and close to death, lying on rocks on his local beach in 2011. Joao cleaned the oil off the penguin’s feathers and fed him a daily diet of fish to build his strength. He named him Dindim.
The prodigal penguin returns
After a week, he tried to release the penguin back into the sea. But, the bird wouldn’t leave. ‘He stayed with me for eleven months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared,’ Joao recalls. And, just a few months later, Dindim was back. He spotted the fisherman on the beach one day and followed him home.
Look who’s back
For the past five years, Dindim has spent eight months of the year with Joao and is believed to spend the rest of the time breeding off the coast of Argentina and Chile. It’s thought he swims up to five thousand miles each year to be reunited with the man who saved his life.
“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” Joao 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 pick him up.”
It’s thought Dindim believes the fisherman is also a penguin
‘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 Professor Krajewski, who interviewed the fisherman for Globo Television, told The Independent: ‘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.
And, just like that, the world seems a kinder place again.
I like you a lottle.
It's like a little, except a lot.