Thursday, 13 October 2016

Chris Packham, a Brazilian and a penguin

I'm quite a fan of Chris Packham.  I remember him and his extravagant peroxide-blonde quiff from The Really Wild Show many years ago.

This show also fascinated me because of the other presenter, Terry Nutkins, and the fact he'd had part of his fingers chewed off by an otter.  I think until that point I'd thought that otters were quite cute and cuddly and wondered if they would perhaps make nice pets - I very quickly had a re-think.

I tuned in to Nature's Weirdest Events on BBC2 not quite sure what I was going to see, as the whole set-up is quite eerie and Chris stalks about like he's going to unveil Frankenstein's monster or something.

But I was glad I did as this programme contained one of the most heart-warming stories I'd seen in a while.

An elderly Brazilian man found a starving oil-soaked young penguin on the beach near his home.  He brought him home, carefully washed his feathers and fed him.  When he was strong enough, the man returned the penguin to the ocean and set him free.

But the penguin found his own way back to the house, and stayed for a few months before disappearing again.

Experts think that the penguin heads back to Patagonia for the breeding season, and then comes back to Brazil to spend the summer with the man and his wife.  He does this year after year, without fail.

The penguin and the old man are inseparable.  Their friendship is remarkable, and they are devoted to each other. 

There was a lovely picture of the man, his wife and the penguin sitting on the sofa having a cup of tea together - although just to clarify, the penguin didn't appear to be partaking in a cuppa, but he was sitting with them looking very comfortable much like a pet dog or cat.

It served as a reminder that the friendship we can have with animals is genuine, as that kind of loyalty cannot be faked.  

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