You will cry over this story of a penguin, a man, and their beautiful friendship

Would you book a 5,000 mile flight to visit the person who saved your life? What about swimming that distance, and making that trip every year? This is the actual story of Dindim the penguin and Joao Pereira de Souza, the Brazilian fisherman who saved him.

In 2011, de Souza found the oil-covered penguin on the beach, and slowly nursed him back to health. After naming and caring for the bedraggled bird, de Souza attempted to release him into the wild. It didn’t work; Dindim stayed with de Souza for eleven months before finally heading back out to sea.


Now, this in and of itself is the stuff of spontaneous tears. But the kicker: Dindim is a Magellanic penguin, a species whose breeding grounds are located on the coasts of Argentina and Chile. This means that Dindim regularly completes a ~5,000 miles around the southern tip of South America (the Straight of Magellan) between his breeding ground and de Souza, which in itself isn’t exceptional in the grand scheme of long-distance animal migrations, were it not for the fact that he always returns to visit and stay with de Souza, only. Because a few months after he left, Dindim came back — and for five years now, he’s returned to stay with de Souza for eight months at a time.

Take a moment to get that dust out of your eyes.


You can watch de Souza and Dindim act adorable in a Wall Street Journal mini-documentary below:

As for us, we’re going to go give our pets a long, hard hug.