Wednesday, 12. March 2014 - 02:03
25. 03. 10. - 14:00
It's a love story of epic proportions.
When Italian hunters shot this female stork called Malena, local vets in Croatia were the stork had been nesting revealed that although they had saved her life -- she would never fly again.
She was placed back in her nest with her young and when her partner named Rodan flew south with their young they expected that she would eventually die and certainly never mate again.
But there predictions that she would not live were foiled after the Vokic family where she had a nest helped to feed her through the long winter months and now -- amazingly -- every year Rodan returns to mate with his partner and rear another clutch of chicks.
That means that every year Rodan flies 13,000 kilometres to South Africa to spend winter in the warm and then the same distance back again to be back with his injured love.
A local said: "She was shot in 1993 by Italians - but she didn't die and was handed over to our vet. He saved her life but was crippled and had lost her ability to fly. The damage was too severe
"Her lover is amazing - this year when he arrived from South Africa where he spent the winter, despite the fact that he had travelled 13,000 kilometres he immediately made love to Malena.
"It was clear they were pleased to see each other. Because she can't fly Rodan teaches the little ones to fly and accompanies them to the south every season."
Rodan returns every year to the same backyard where Malena lives with the Vokic family.
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