One of the simplest men in Brazil has found something extraordinary. Being the person who rescued a penguin from the jaws of death, he gets, in return, an annual visit 5,000 miles worth of travel from the bird who may have fallen in love with him.
Joao Pereira de Souza, a 71-year-old retired bricklayer from an island village by Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, once saved a tiny penguin fighting for its life back in 2011. The penguin was famished and covered in oil. Souza then attended to the helpless penguin and took care of it before he released it back into the ocean a week later. He then named the South American Magellanic penguin Dindim, reports the Daily Mail.
Little did Mr. Souza know that the penguin would travel 5,000 miles back to his arms a few months later, reports Yahoo! News. In fact, Souza spent eight months every year with the penguin as a member of his household.
During an interview, Mr. Souza said, “He [the penguin] stayed with me for 11 months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared.” A few months later, the penguin returned to him.
Biologist Joao Paulo Krajewski, an expert in penguin animal behavior, was astounded with Dindim’s relationship with the human. In fact, it is considered unique. Since penguins are referred to as creatures who would do acts of love for another soulmate penguin, Dindim seemed to find his in Mr. Souza.
Krajewski stated, “I have never seen anything like this before. I think he 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.” The latter statement confirms the behavior of penguins when they meet their mates.
A single act of love done by Souza has granted him a penguin that would travel 5,000 miles for him, showing that an animal’s natural behavior can be altered. What a touching story, indeed.