In today’s heartwarming story edition, a Magellanic Penguin from Brazil swims 5,000 miles every year for a great reason – to visit the man who once saved his life! The man in question, Joao Pereira de Souza, lives in the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro and saved the penguin from certain death in 2011 on a beach nearby his home.
The penguin was in bad shape – he was covered in oil and was pretty weak. Joao didn’t even think his new friend would make it, but after a good cleaning and feeding the penguin fish for a few days, he regained his strength. Once he was feeling better, Joao named him Didim.
After a week spent at Joao’s place, the man decided to let the penguin in the wild again. He brought him to the sea, but Didim wouldn’t have any of it. He obviously loved the time spent with Joao, so he stayed for nearly a year before disappearing without a trace. “He disappeared as soon as he changed his feathers,” Joao says, obviously disappointed.
The man was sad for losing his friend, but a few months later, Didim surprisingly appeared on his doorstep! The penguin saw Joao fishing and followed him home, reuniting with the man who saved his life. Every year for the past 5, Didim spends 8 months with Joao, helping him catch fish (and eating a whole lot in the process!), then goes away for 4 months, most likely for breeding. According to expert estimates, Joao’s friend eventually swims up to 5,000 miles per year just to return to the man whom he loves!
Joao loves Didim like a son – as he puts it, they formed a deep bond and are inseparable during the 8 months Didim spends at Joao’s. “He doesn’t allow others to pet him,” the man says with a smile. “He pecks them on the hand and comes running back to me.” Didim comes back ‘home’ every June, leaving for the sea again in February.
Biologist Joao Paulo Krajewski, who documented the story for Globo TV, says that their bond is truly unique. There has never been such a close bond between penguin and man, but it seems that these birds have much deeper emotions than we previously thought.
Video Source:Wall Street Journal