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Brazilian Man Saves Penguin, Gets a New Best Friend

Dogs might be getting some competition for the title of most loyal pet. A penguin named Dindim has grown so attached to the Brazilian man who saved his life that, when the currents take him back up to Brazil, he makes a beeline straight for the guy. Penguins have pretty good memories, too, apparently.

Joao Pereira de Souza, a retired bricklayer, lives on an island just off Rio de Janeiro. Dindim came into his life in 2011 in dire circumstances — the penguin was malnourished and covered in oil. Pereira de Souza nursed the penguin back to health, cleaning him off and gradually feeding him fish until his strength could recover. The nurturing must have set something off in Dindim’s brain — ever since, he’s treated the man as a member of his penguin family, and penguins never forget family.

Since 2011, Dindim has spent the better part of each year hanging out around Pereira de Souza’s place, occasionally disappearing for a few weeks at a time to feed. For about four months out of the year, Dindim migrates back to the Patagonian coast near Argentina and Chile, which is where penguins of that type usually live and breed. Apparently, he’s torn between his penguin family and his human one — every June, he turns up back at the same place and knows exactly where to find his friend.

That Dindim makes his way back to Brazil isn’t too surprising — he’s probably cruising along the same currents, which have been shifted northward due to climate change. What is remarkable is that Dindim not only remembers where Pereira de Souza lives, but recognizes the man and appears to get excited. He doesn’t get excited for just any human, either — the story goes that Dindim won’t even let another human being near him. That could have something to do with the tendency of penguins to mate for life, instead of practicing the polygamy seen in most of the animal kingdom.

In other words, Dindim has found his human buddy, and he’s not about to let anyone else get in the way of that bromance. We should all be so lucky!

Via The Independent