While it is illegal to keep wild animals as pets in Brazil, 71-year-old retired bricklayer and part-time fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza took in Dindim – a South American Magellanic penguin.
De Souza found Dindim on a Brazilian beach in 2011, covered in oil and in poor health. De Souza nursed Dindim back to health and released him into the wild only to see that Dindim returned to him the following year, and then in subsequent years after.
“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” Joao told Globo TV. “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.”