A Brazilian widower gets adopted by a penguin. It’s freaking adorable.

Many of us have special places in our hearts for pets. And for most of us, it’s a dog or a cat that greets us when we come home or wakes us up with slobbery kisses.

There aren’t a lot of people, though, who can say that their kindred animal spirit is a penguin. But Joo Pereira de Souza, a Brazilian widower, is one of them.

Joo lives in a small fishing village near the Brazilian coast, and he formed an unlikely relationship with a penguin named Jinjing.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Joo observed his soon-to-be companion on the beach covered in oil in 2011. He scooped the little guy up and moved him to a shadier place, where he fed him some sardines.

All images via Wall Street Journal/ YouTube.

Then he took the penguin back to the beach so he could swim back to wherever he came from. There was one problem, though: Jinjing didn’t truly want to go back. He toddled right back out of the ocean and toward Joo.

“He never left me again, ” Joo said of his little penguin friend.

It’s been four years now, and Jinjing does occasionally take trip-ups “out of town.” He tends to take off for a few months around February too. But he always comes back to the village and to Joo.

Why is this story so great? Well, first of all, because it’s an adorable penguin relationship. But second, Joo and Jinjing’s story genuinely highlights how important it can be to have a companion even if that companion is an animal.

Spending time with an animal pal can be therapeutic, especially for people who are lonely, anxious, or depressed.

Studies prove that spending time with an animal can lower stress levels and even help people process trauma.

Plus, having an animal buddy can also help connect people to one another. Anyone who has a puppy knows that it’s almost impossible to take a puppy for a stroll without gratifying at least a few people. In a study published in 2000, researchers found that simply strolling a dog outside going to be able to spark conversations with strangers.

Joo and Jinjing can vouch for that therapy.

When they’re not swimming together into the sea or strolling on the beach, they hang out with other members of the community, where Jinjing is known as the “village mascot.”

Having a pet can make you more physically healthy as well. It’s hard to avoid exercise when your puppy or cat wants to play every morning, after all. And one analyse found that having a household pet could even help control blood pressure.

So you don’t need a penguin to find heartwarming companionship( and, in fact, you probably shouldn’t try to get one ).

But there are plenty of rescue animals in shelters that need forever homes and new best friends! You can even start the adoption process today. And if you want to live vicariously through Joo, you can check out this video of the two BFFs from the Wall Street Journal : [ youtube https :// www.youtube.com/ watch? v= 6McB0jhPWqs? wmode= transparent& showinfo= 0& controls= 1& enablejsapi= 1& rel= 0& version= 3& coloring= white]

Read more: www.upworthy.com

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