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Male Stork Flies 14,000km Every Year To See Handicapped Female Partner

Rebecca Shepherd

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Male Stork Flies 14,000km Every Year To See Handicapped Female Partner

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Croatia Full Of Life

Realistically, how far would you travel to see your mate?

Many of us have visited friends and family 14,000 kilometres away but it doesn't take THAT much effort to get on a plane, sit down and watch an in-flight film, right?

Well, this faithful male stork flies thousands of miles every single year to join his handicapped female companion who can't fly. This hurts our hearts.

The story of Klepetan and Malena is one of love and devotion beating the odds.

By late March, Klepetan was back in the tiny village of Brodski Varos, eastern Croatia, for his 16th year in a row, after leaving his winter home in South Africa.

He flies to meet the love of his life, Malena, which translates to 'Little One' in Croatian. There Malena waits to start having more babies - adding to the 62 the pair already have.

They've certainly been busy each year - making up for lost time, maybe?

Klepetan, named after the knocking sound storks make with their beaks, wears a tracking ring.

Credit: YouTube/ Croatia Full Of Life
Credit: YouTube/ Croatia Full Of Life

His final destination has been traced to near Cape Town, South Africa, some 14,500 kilometres (9,000 miles) from Malena.

It takes him a little over a month to make the journey.

What a LAD - this is just too romantic.

The faithful couple's long-distance relationship has made them celebrities in Croatia.

Local school caretaker, Stjepan Vokic, adopted Malena in 1993 when he found her near a pond, injured by a shot from hunters.

She spends winters in a storage building in what the 71-year-old widower calls an 'improvised Africa' with a nest, heating and aquarium.

In spring Vokic makes a gigantic nest for Malena on the building's roof.

Credit: YouTube/ Croatia Full Of Life
Credit: YouTube/ Croatia Full Of Life

Klepetan, the father stork, teaches his baby storks to fly before migrating with them in early August to southern Africa.

Meanwhile, Malena stays with Vokic, who bathes her and puts cream on her feet to stop them drying out, as she is away from her wetland habitat.

These guys are all as cute as one another.

Vokic told AFP: "I also take her fishing since I can't take her to Africa. We even watch TV together.

"If I had left her in the pond foxes would have eaten her. But I changed her fate, so now I'm responsible for her life."

Sounds like they have it all figured out. Can we have our very own Klepetan?

Topics: Entertainment, Awesome, Love, Inspirational, Interesting, Feels, travel, Animals

Rebecca Shepherd
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