These incredible photos show the heart-warming friendship between a penguin and the Brazilian pensioner who saved his life four years ago.
Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, found a South American Magellanic penguin covered in oil on an island off the Rio de Janeiro coast. The retired bricklayer nursed the penguin � who he named Dindim � back to health, taking a week to get the sticky black residue from the bird’s feathers Once Dindim was well again, Mr de Souza released him back into the wild, expecting his new feathered friend never to return.
But a few months later, to Mr de Souza amazement, Dindim returned to the beach where he was found and recognised his former carer and returned home with him.
It is believed Mr de Souza’s feathered pal swims around 5,000 to visit the part-time fisherman where he spends eight months of the year before returning to breed of the coast of Argentina and Chile.
Mr de Souza told 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.�I’m flattered Dindim is happy to exchange his home with thousands of other penguins every year to find his way here to spend one-to-one time with me.�It’s a very special relationship.”Biologist Joao Paulo Krajewski, who interviewed Mr Pereira de Souza for Globo TV, 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.”
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