When João Pereira de Souza saw the oil-soaked penguin on the beach near his home in 2011, he knew he had to help. And so started an unlikely friendship that has endured to this day.
The retired bricklayer from Ilha Grande, a Brazilian fishing island, cleaned up the bird, fed him sardines, and arranged a comfortable, shady spot for the bird to recover.
Jinjing, as the Magellanic penguin is now called, has never forgotten the widower’s kind actions and returns to his human soul mate time and time again.
And according to experts, Jinjing is not just exploiting the 71-year-old as an easy source of food.
Dyan deNapoli, a veterinary nurse and penguin expert, says that Jingjing has found his soul mate. She told the Wall Street Journal: “It’s possible that he has redirected his natural instinct to mate toward this guy.”
Something that de Souza agrees with: “When he returns he’s so happy to see me, he comes up to my neck and hoots. He doesn’t let any dog or cat near me or else he goes after them and pecks.”
For more on this incredible story, watch the WSJ video below:
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