While most people are happy with their dog or cat, one retired Brazilian fisherman’s relationship with a penguin has made international news.
Din Din is a Magellanic penguin, renowned for swimming thousands of kilometers as part of their migratory routes. In 2011, Joao Pereira De Souza, 71, found tiny Din Din on the beach in front of his house, covered in oil.
Over a few days he nursed the Patagonian penguin back to health, feeding him sardines. While many believed Din Din would quickly move on, he decided to stay with de Souza at his home in Rio de Janeiro state.
“But he wouldn’t leave, he stayed with me for 11 months and then just after he changed his coat with new feathers he disappeared,”
The two have struck up a unique friendship ever since. Few can get close to Din Din as he packs a sharp peck.
“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” de Souza said.
Brazilian Biologist Joao Paulo Krajewski, who interviewed de Souza for Globo TV, told The Independent: “I have never seen anything like this before. I think the 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.”
Penguins live for around 25 years and are famous for their loyalty to their mates, remaining with the same partner until they die.
Scientists believe that the penguin makes an 8,000 kilometer journey to see his Brazilian buddy.