In 2011, an oil-covered Magellanic penguin washed up on the shore of a fishing village outside of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Joao Pereira de Souza, a retired bricklayer and occasional fisherman in the village, rescued the tiny penguin, washing him off and feeding him sardines. He named the penguin Jing Jing, and the two have been best friends ever since.

Jing Jing has returned to the village every year since his rescue to spend time with de Souza, and he now spends roughly eight months of the year with his human friend before heading back to the ocean to breed off the coast of Argentina and Chile. Jing Jing has apparently bonded with de Souza in a surprising way as he doesn't allow other humans to touch him — "He pecks them if they do," de Souza said. Jing Jing prefers it if other animals leave de Souza alone as well.

Via Metro