No distance is too far for Rodan, the lovesick stork.
Making the trip from South Africa to Croatia every spring, the male bird travels 13,000 km to see his beloved female partner, Malena, who is disabled and unable to fly, reports Britain’s Metro.
The loving storks cozy up, mating and raising their new chicks (they have produced 32 offspring so far) and teaching them how to fly. Rodan then departs to spend the winter months in South Africa and returns on exactly the same day, the following spring.
Locals in the small village of Slavonski Brod in Croatia thought crippled Malena would almost certainly die when she was shot by a hunter in 1993, but thanks to the Vokic family, whose roof she lives on and her ever faithful partner, Rodan, she has survived for over 17 years.
Reunited again last week, Rodan was more eager than ever to see his love, arriving two hours earlier than usual. “It was clear they were pleased to see each other,” said one local to the Romanian Times. Stjepan Vokic added, “He knows he needs to return home because Malena is waiting for him.”
The storks have become so famous in the village that it’s not only Malena that waits anxiously for her partner to return, local residents and reporters gather round to welcome the tired bird home, every March.
Lets hope the couple’s little chicks will be just as loyal and faithful as their Papa!