Life

Adorable Penguin Loves Human Rescuer So Much, He Refuses To Leave Him

A penguin saved from an oil slick has struck up an unusual friendship with a man in a Brazilian fishing village

In 2011, João Pereira De Souza found a penguin on the beach of his home in South-East Brazil. The bird, a Magellanic penguin, was covered in oil and needed serious TLC. De Souza fed him sardines and let him rest until he had enough strength to be released.

But when retired bricklayer De Souza put the penguin in the sea, something unexpected happened. The bird, later nicknamed Jin-Jin, didn’t want to leave. The penguin seemed to have fallen in love with De Souza, and when he eventually did swim away from his human friend’s shanty home on the sea, he came right back.

Since then, Jin-Jin always returns. He might leave for a few days, a few weeks, or even months, but when he’s finished with his penguin business there is no place he’d rather be than at De Souza’s side. On average, Jin-Jin spends 8 months of the year with his rescuer, choosing not to migrate the thousands of miles between Patagonia and feeding grounds further north (as Magellanic penguins are known to do). Jin-Jin is so close to De Souza that he even seems to display something close to jealousy, and “won’t let other animals get close” to his best friend.

If you enjoyed this uplifting story, please consider sharing it! You can also check out other touching stories of unusual animal/human friendships, including the strange tale of a Costa Rican and his pet crocodile, and the moving reunion between three childhood playmates- one woman and her beloved pair of gorillas.


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