This penguin named Jinjing travels 5,000 miles every year to show gratitude to the man who saved its life.
Back in 2011, a man named Joao Pereira de Souza from Brazil unexpectedly saw a seriously injured penguin on the beach. Upon seeing the poor penguin, the 73-year-old man immediately helped it, taking the penguin home and nursing it back to health. The penguin Joao found is a South American Magellanic penguin, the penguin was covered in a thick black oil slick, starving and almost losing its life.
After cleaning the tar from the penguin’s feathers, he fed and nursed the penguin until it gains strength and back to health. He then released the penguin back to the ocean but it wouldn’t leave.
“But he wouldn’t leave, he stayed with me for 11 months and then just after he changed his coat with new feathers he disappeared,” Joao said.
To thank the man who saved its life, the penguin has been making a yearly pilgrimage back at the beach where they first met. Once again, after seeing and recognizing him, the penguin returned home with him. Mr. Souza whom he named the Jinjing.
Every year, Jinjing travel 5,000 miles to meet Joao and he never failed to do so every year. Joao said in an interview
“I love the penguin-like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,”
“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,” he added.
Jinjing spent 8 months with Mr. Souza then go back to the Patagonian coast to breed.
“Everyone said he wouldn’t return but he has been coming back to visit me for the past four years. He arrives in June and leaves to go home in February and every year he becomes more affectionate as he appears even happier to see me.” Joao said.
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