When Joao Pereira de Souza, a 71-year-old retired bricklayer and part-time fisherman, found a Megallanic penguin covered in oil on the rocks in an island village just outside of Rio de Jenerio in Brazil, he was aware that the bird would die without the help. Jao then nursed the bird, who he named Dindim, and brought it back to health. He then took Dindim to the sea and released him so that it could migrate back to his habitat. “But he wouldn’t leave. He stayed with me for 11 months and then just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared,” Pereira de Souza told Globo TV. “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,” he explained. Since then, Dindim swims around 8000 Km to visit his savior and spends eight months of the year with him before returning to the breed off coast of Argentina and Chile. Pereira further explains that, “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 love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me. When he sees me, he wags his tail like a dog and honks with delight," Jao added. Dindim is a South American Megallanic penguin, which usually breeds in the Patogonia coasts of Argentina and Chile.
(By: Neetu Gaur Sharma)