While there may be a few men out there who bring down our reputation, there are some good guys out there… like this stork.
Yes, the bird most people associate with delivering newborn babies in cartoons are actually extremely dedicated and romantic – #gentlemen.
Each year, a male stork, called Klepetan, travels thousands of miles from southern Africa to Croatia, just to be with his girlfriend, Malena, who sadly, cannot fly.
Klepetan has been taking to the skies for his bae, sixteen years on the trot.
A local in the village of Brodski Varos, Stjepan Vokic, found Malena after she had been shot in the wing by hunters.
He’s been looking after the bird for the last 24 years, even making her a home designed to resemble the climate of Africa, with a nest, heating and an aquarium.
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.
During spring, her nest moves to the roof of the house where Klepetan visits her.
Most storks are found in flocks except during the breeding season, when they pair off.
In the winter, Klepetan flies south to Africa with the other storks, leaving his flightless partner behind, yet when the birds return the following spring, Vokic awaits anxiously to see if Klepetan has survived his gargantuan journey.
As per Birdlife:
Migratory birds brave numerous threats every time they embark on their epic travels – from storms to starvation, predators to power lines.
But there’s one particular stretch of Klepetan’s journey that has his supporters particularly concerned – a 100 mile stretch that takes Klepetan over Lebanon.
Last year, Vokic penned a letter to the President of Lebanon, asking him to offer stronger protection for birds during migration seasons.
He wrote on his website, Feather is mightier than the sword:
In my country, there is a belief that storks bring children and that they bring new life. These two storks are my whole life.
You do not have to believe in stories for little children, but you can believe in the fact that in Croatia, every spring, via live stream camera, over a million people await Klepetan’s return and that the moment of his return brings happiness and joy reminding many of what love means and what it means to love.
And they say ‘romance is dead’.