João Pereira de Souza, a retired bricklayer, found the little South American Magellanic penguin covered in oil and dying on Provetá Beach where he lives in Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil in 2011.
He cleaned the oil off the penguin’s feathers, fed him and named him Jinjing. After a week João tried to return Jinjing to the ocean, but he refused to leave.
Says João: “He stayed with me for 11 months and then, just after he changed his coat with new feathers, he disappeared.”
Just a few months later, Jinjing was back. For the next five years the penguin spent eight months of the year with João and is thought to have spent the rest of the time with his own kind.
“I love the penguin like it’s my own child and I believe the penguin loves me,” João 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.
“Everyone said he wouldn’t return but he has been coming back to visit me for the past four years.”
Watch: Jinjing the Magellanic penguin returns to the man who saved his life
Source: Capricorn Review