Animals are greatful creatures. We have heard about Tony, the dog that travelled over 260 miles, and Howie, the cat that travelled a 1000 miles, to return to their beloved owners. Even the story of Hachiko, an Akita dog, who remained loyal to its owner many years after its owner’s death have been told so many times. And there are many more from different corners of the world that we might not even have heard of.
The most recent tale of gratitude and friendship is of Dindim, a Penguin, who travels about 8000Kmsevery year to visit it’s saviour in Brazil. In 2011, Joao Pereira de Souza, a 71 year old rescued the penguin, struggling for life covered in oil. He took it under his care, feeding and nursing it, till it was strong enough.Though he tried to encourage it to leave by taking it to the sea, it came back. It stayed with him for about 11 months until finally before leaving.
Everyone assumed that it was the end of their friendship. But it returned the next year to visit the old man. And keeps coming back every year for a visit of about four months. It wads its tail and honks in delight when it sees de Souza, almost as if it considers him to be a penguin too. And only he has the permission to go near it.
Certain species of penguins swim thousands of kilometers to breeding spots on the coast of Argentina and Chile. Dindim belongs to this species of the South American penguins: Magellanic penguin.
This visit is a source of inspiration and much love to the old man. It will be remembered and recalled time and again,like the story of Christian the lion who recognised its owners even after a year of readmission into the wild.