It’s illegal to keep wild animals as pets in Brazil. But despite what the law may say, Dindim (the penguin) comes to live with his best friend, whom he met on the beaches of Brazil, every year since 2011.

71 year old retired bricklayer and part time fisherman Joao Pereira de Souza once found Dindim, a South American Magellanic penguin, covered in oil and close to death. When De Souza nursed him back to healthy, he found that penguin did not want to leave; when he finally did, De Souza was surprised to see him return the next year, and the years following.

“I love this penguin, it’s like my own child and I believe the penguin also loves me,” Joao told Local 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.”

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