Tuesday, June 7, 2016

From a reader in Charlotte, North Carolina

Back in 2011, Brazilian fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza, 71, found a tiny penguin on a local beach. The penguin was covered with oil and close to death, so Joao cleaned his feathers and fed him a daily diet of fish until his strength returned. He named the penguin Dindim, and the bird stayed with Joao 11 months, and then disappeared. But a few months later, Dindim returned.

                                                                                                      Rio de Janeiro Federal University
He spotted Joao on the beach and followed him home, wagging his tail like a dog and honking with delight. Ever since then, Dindim has spent eight months a year with Joao and the rest of the time breeding off the coast of Chile and Argentina. It's believed the penguin swims up to 5,000 miles each year to be reunited with the man who saved his life. "No one else is allowed to touch him," Joao says. "He pecks them if they do. He lays in my lap; lets me give him showers; allows me to feed him sardines and to pick him up. He arrives in June and leaves in February and every year he is more affectionate and happier to see me." Some experts believe Dindim thinks Joao is part of his family, and Dindim may be correct, because Joao loves the penguin "like my own child."

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