It’s a story that has been reported (and misreported) thousands of times over the past year or so: in 2011, a retired bricklayer living on Provetá beach near Rio de Janeiro, João Pereira De Souza, comes across a penguin covered in oil, cleans the bird up and releases it back to the wild. Named Dindim by De Souza, the penguin forges an unlikely bond with his human rescuer, returning every June to visit his beach buddy after several months away at sea doing, you know, penguin stuff.
While at its core Dindim’s tale is both remarkable and true, the reporter who initially covered it last year for Brazil’s Globo TV has since gone on record as stating that the original story’s specifics have been altered by misinformed news outlets and social media in general. The biggest issue is the “miraculous” distance Dindim travels to see De Souza, reported by some sources to be 5,000 miles (just over 8,000 kilometers). Not proven, never verified and not supported by anyone in the know.
Another story, albeit still an amazing one, getting blown out of proportion online? Never.
Story by Jay Moon