MONTEREY, Calif. (NBC/KNTV) - A California girl found a new friend when she visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium: a horned puffin bird.
The bird kept following her as she ran alongside the tank, and it was all caught on camera.
For 49 seconds, 9-year-old Dakota Wood ran around with the puffin bird.
"The puffin just started interacting with her," said Bobbi Jo Wood, Dakota’s mother.
"I just went to the edge of the tank, and he decided to follow me,” said Dakota. “’Oh my gosh. The puffin is following me, mom.’"
Dakota's mom seized the moment and captured these precious seconds on video. She uploaded to it YouTube, and it's starting to get thousands of hits.
"I think it's the animal interacting so closely with humans,” said Bobbi Jo. “There are so many people who would love to have an experience like that, and it's just amazing because it doesn't happen. You don't see that very often."
There was something about Dakota that the puffin really liked.
Whatever it was, the bird wasn't about to let the glass tank get in the way of their new budding friendship.
"I think it's really cool, and I think I realize I made a new friend at the Aquarium," said Dakota.
Just when they were really starting to click as jogging mates, mom said it was time to go -- leaving the puffin all by itself.
But at least the Wood family has video they can watch over and over again.
"He was just enamored with her,” said Bobbi Jo. “It makes me smile every time I watch it."
"I feel like I want him as a pet now,” said Dakota.