Dindim: Internet's heart breaks over penguin who travels to Brazilian island to see his rescuer every year

The bird was found smothered in oil on an island village near Brazil's Rio de Janeiro in 2011

A story about a penguin who swims to a Brazilian island every year to see the man who rescued him is all over the internet right now.

The bird, a South American Magellanic, was found smothered in oil on rocks at a beach on an island village near Brazil's Rio de Janeiro in 2011, according to Metro.

The suffering penguin was rescued by Joao Pereira de Souza, a 71-year-old retired brick worker and occasional fisherman who lives in the area. 

Pereira de Souza took the perishing bird under his care, feeding him fish until he regained his health, and washing the oil off his feathers. It took a week to fully get rid of the oil, according to a video from the Brazilian network GloboTV. 

Though Pereira de Souza tried to release the penguin, who he had affectionately named Dindim, into the sea a week after finding him, Dindim wasn't quite ready to leave.

“He stayed with me for 11 months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared,” Pereira de Souza is quoted by Metro.

He thought the penguin wouldn't return, but Dindim made a surprise appearance on the island a few months later, and even followed Pereira de Souza home. 

“I love the penguin like it's my own child, and I believe the penguin loves me,” the man told GloboTV.

Dindim has since been swimming back to the island each year; this is the fifth time he has returned to see his unlikely companion.

Apparently, the bird spends eight months of the year on the Brazilian island with his rescuer. Penguin or person, it's a nice way to live.

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