Dindim is a dedicated pen pal

By Kelli Bender
March 10, 2016 04:06 PM

Dindim is a dedicated pen pal. 

Each year, the South American Magellanic penguin swims 5,000 mile to smother the man who saved his life in appreciative kisses. 

According to Metro, in 2011, retiree Joao Pereira de Souza found Dindim covered in oil on the beach by his home near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Pereira de Souza, 71, cleaned off the tiny bird and fed him fish for several days, to help build back Dindim’s strength. 

The penguin couch surfed at Pereira de Souza’s home for 11 months, even though the man attempted to release Dindim into the wild several times. Then, after changing his coat, Dindim decide to be a big bird and depart on his own. 

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But he didn’t stay away long. Several months later, Dindim returned to the same beach, spotted Pereira de Souza and followed the man home. This was the beginning of an endearing tradition. For the past four years, Dindim has spent eight months of the year with his savior and the rest of the year off the coast of Chile and Argentina breeding. That’s a 5,000 mile trip for the penguin each year, but Dindim doesn’t seem to mind. 

“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,” Pereira de Souza told Globo TV. 

Dindim’s BFF says the bird often covers him in kisses, wags his tail like a dog and loves to lay on Pereira de Souza’s lap while eating sardines. But he’s the only person Dindim will get near: Other people who try to cozy up to him will get nipped, proving that Dindim only has eyes for Joao.