If you thought the world didn't get more adorable than Shiba Inus, here's something to set the bar of cuteness even higher.
in 2011, 71-year-old retired bricklayer Joao Pereira de Souza selflessly rescued a sweet little South American magellanic penguin that was covered in oil and close to death. Joao spent days cleaning him and helping him recover, forming a genuine bond with the little creature all the while. Once the penguin was healthy, Joao finally set him free from his home island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. But not before naming the little guy Dindim.
To de Souza's astonishment, Dindim returned to the island several months later, and they instantly recognized each other. The two friends have had a special connection ever since.
When asked about their odd relationship, Joao explained to Globo TV:
“I love the penguin like it’s my own child, and I believe the penguin loves me... 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.”
Amazingly, Dindim spends eight months of the year with his buddy Joao before departing to the penguin breeding grounds off the coast of Argentina and Chile. That's about a 5,000 mile swim each way!
“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.”
Watch the short video below to find out more about this wonderful, unlikely friendship.
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