Dakota Wood found herself a new feathered friend at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
A playful horned puffin bird displayed a strong affinity for the 9-year-old girl during a recent visit to his tank, mirroring her moves for nearly a minute as she ran alongside the glass.
"I just went to the edge of the tank and he decided to follow me," Dakota said.
Her mother seized the moment and captured the precious seconds on video, which she later uploaded to YouTube.
The video of the aquatic bird swimming alongside the girl had received more than 21,000 views as of Friday morning. By Friday night, it garnered more than 187,000 hits.
"I think it's the animal interacting so closely with humans," said Dakota's mother, Bobbi Jo Wood. "There are so many people who would love to have an experience like that. And it's just amazing cause it doesn't happen. You don't see that very often."
The budding friendship was cut short when Wood told Dakota it was time to move on. Still, both mother and daughter are glad to have the video to remind them of the funny encounter.
"He was just enamored with her," Wood said. "It makes me smile every time I watch it."