The male stork is flying thousands of kilometers every year to return to his loved one who can't go with him because of injury - this is a story about Malena and Klepetan, storks from Croatia, which speaks of love and loyalty against all odds, writes the French agency France Press.
Klepetan returned 16th year in a row to the Croatian village Brodski Varos, leaving his winter residence at the south of Afrika.
He met the love of his life again, white stork Malena, and he already has 62 descendants with her. Due to the love of great distance and loyalty, the two storks are celebrities in Croatia, AFP writes.
The retired janitor of the local school Stjepan Vokic, a 71-year-old widow, adopted Malena in 1993 after finding her by the pond, wounded with shotgun shells. Malena spends her winter in a home that Vokic calls "improvised Africa" with a nest, heating, and aquarium.
Malena will remain alone with Vokic who will bather her and who will moisturize her legs so they don't become dry since she is a long way from her humid residence.
- I am taking her fishing since I can't take her to Africa. We even watch TV together. If I had left her wounded, the foxes would have eaten her. But, I changed her destiny and now I am responsible for her life - Vokic said to AFP.
Klepetan is wearing a tracking collar. His winter destination is somewhere near Cape Town, around 14.5 thousand km away from Malena he needs more than a month of flight to reach there.
There are around 1.500 couples of white storks in Croatia.
Cigos, a village in the middle of the country, was proclaimed a first European village of storks in 1994, mentions AFP. There are around 200 nests on the roofs and near the street lights. There are twice as more of them than there are citizens.
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(Telegraf.co.uk / Hina)