Penguin swims 8,000 kms every year to reunite with human pal
A South American Magellanic penguin swims 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) every year for the last five years to return to its ‘human soulmate’, Joao Pereira de Souza, who is a Brazilian pensioner and part-time fisherman.
De Souza, 71, saw the said penguin, whom he named Dindim, smeared in oil at the coast of Rio de Janeiro five years ago. It had black sticky residue from its feathers which it took him a week to remove.
After the penguin was cured, De Souza released the penguin in the wild, and he expected Dindim to wander and not return, the Australian online news site Perth Now reported.
However, to his surprise, the penguin astonishingly came back to visit its savior and pal. It spends eight months from June to February every year with De Souza before it returns to the coast of Argentina and Chile.
Perth Now said the part-time fisherman developed a special bond with his new best friend.
“No one else is allowed to touch him, he pecks on them if they do. He lays on my lap, let me give him showers, allows me to feed him sardines and pick him up,” Perth Now quoted De Souza as saying in an interview with local media. Upon meeting each other, the penguin would wag its tail and honk with joy.
Joao Paulo Krajewski, a biologist who interviewed De Souza, mentioned in an interview that the penguin recognizes the part-time fisherman as ‘part of his family and perhaps a penguin as well’. Gianna Catolico
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