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(Picture: TV Globo)

Penguin swims 5,000 miles every year to reunite with man who saved his life

A South American Magellanic penguin swims 5,000 miles each year to reunite with a man who saved his life.

Retired bricklayer and part time fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, lives in an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He found the penguin covered in oil, dying on his local beach in 2011.

He cleaned the oil off the penguin and fed him fish to build his strength, naming him Dindim.

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‘He stayed with me for 11 months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared,’ Joao recalls.

A few months later, Dindim was back. He spotted the fisherman resting on the beach and followed him home.

‘I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,’ Joao told Globo TV. ‘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.’

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