That is retired bricklayer, part time fisherman, and kind soul Joao Pereira de Souza.
His buddy there is a South American Magellanic penguin name Dindim.
If you couldn’t already tell, these two are pals…
Joao , 71, who lives in an island village just outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found the tiny penguin, covered in oil and close to death, lying on rocks on his local beach in 2011.
He cleaned the oil off the penguin’s feathers and fed him a daily diet of fish to build his strength. He named him Dindim, because ‘Happy Feet’ would have been stupid.
After a week, he tried to release the penguin back into the sea. But, the bird wouldn’t leave. ‘He stayed with me for 11 months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared,’ Joao recalls.
And, just a few months later, Dindim was back. He spotted the fisherman on the beach one day and followed him home.
For the past five years, Dindim has spent eight months of the year with Joao and is believed to spend the rest of the time breeding off the coast of Argentina and Chile.
Because even a penguin has gotta get some once in awhile, yaknowwhatImsayin’?
It’s thought he swims up to 5,000 miles each year to be reunited with the man who saved his life.
‘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.’
When Dindim sees Joao, he wags his tail like a dog and honks with delight.