Brazilian TV reckons the penguin “recognises senor Joao as a penguin, too”.
If you’ve had a bit of a kak week, this should give you instant feels. Joao Pereira de Souza has a penguin best buddy. The retired bricklayer who lives on a little island village just outside of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, rescued the penguin in 2011.
He’d found the penguin close to death, covered in oil, and nursed him back to health. He called him Jingjing. Chowing down on healthy fish, Jingjing didn’t need much time to recover, but when De Souza tried to release him back into the see, Jingjing didn’t wanna go.
Instead, Jingjing stayed with Joao for 11 months and when he’d changed his coat, he vanished. But a few months later, Dindim came back. When he spotted his buddy Joao on the beach, he followed him home.
For the last five years, Jingjing 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.
Researchers reckon he swims around 8000km every year to come back to the man who saved him.
“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.”