FRIENDS FOR LIFE: A Beautiful Story About a Penguin and the Man Who Saved His Life (video)

A Magellanic penguin that migrates from Patagonia and a retired bricklayer in a Brazilian fishing village have struck up an unusual friendship.

On a steamy tropical island in Brazil, a tuxedoed traveler found a soul mate.

Why else would a penguin named Jinjing, native to chilly Patagonia roughly 2,000 miles away, keep returning to a warm stretch of sand in Rio de Janeiro state during mating season?

João Pereira de Souza, a retired bricklayer, has shared his homestead and sardine supply for four years with the seabird.

The penguin disappears into the sea for days—sometimes months—only to return to the spot where Mr. de Souza raises chickens by the beach in this remote fishing village of 1,300 residents on the island of Ilha Grande.

During the bird’s visits, the two go for long walks on the beach, swim together in the surf and converse in pidgin penguinese.

“When he returns he’s so happy to see me,” Mr. de Souza says, “he comes up to my neck and hoots.”

Mr. de Souza, a 71-year-old widower, says the visits started March 20, 2011, when he discovered the bird oil-soaked, lying on the beach by his shanty.

He moved the ailing avian under his shade tree, force-fed it fish and took it to the water’s edge, expecting it to swim away.

“He took a drink of water and then came back onto the beach. So I gave him three more sardines and that was it: He never left me again,” Mr. de Souza says on a recent afternoon as Jinjing nibbles affectionately at his hand.

Whole story on The Wall Street Journal

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animals, brazil
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