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This Penguin Travels Thousands of Miles Every Year to Reunite With His Rescuer

Here’s a story that will warm your heart.

Affection, love, and bonding with humans by animals have often been observed within the animal kingdom by scientists, so it’s really nothing new. However, in the case of Dindim the penguin, a certain characteristic was also observed which loaned it a certain uniqueness: gratitude. The penguin would return every year in June to its rescuer and spend time with him only to leave again in February—a recurring annual event.

Marine Biologist Joao Paulo Krajewski, who interviewed the rescuer for Globo TV later, said, “I have never seen anything like this before.”

The special relationship started in 2011 when Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, who lives in a small island in Brazil found the small penguin, which he soon called Dindim, stranded on a beach in Rio de Janeiro and all covered in oil. The penguin was undernourished and on the brink of death. Pereira de Souza took it under his care and spent a week cleaning it. During this time, he fed it a diet of fish.

Once he finished cleaning it, and after it had grown a new coat of feathers, Pereira de Souza went to the ocean to set the penguin free so it could return to the wild.

A few months later, he was very surprised to see it back on the island where it recognised him immediately and went back home with him.

The pengiun stayed there with him for 11 months. It wouldn’t let anyone get close to it without pecking them, except for its rescuer.

And so a special bond between them developed. When it left again for the 2nd time, everyone told Pereira de Souza that the penguin would not be back, but time and time again, the penguin proved them wrong.

“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

“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me.”

Here are two short video clips, both less than 5 minutes in length, showing you their special relationship in more details.