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Every Year, Stork Flies Thousands Of Miles To Return To His One True Love

Fifteen years ago, on rooftop in the small Croatian village of Slavonski Brod, two storks named Klepetan and Malena met and an epic love story was born. The two birds have been together ever since, but what makes their story so special is the devotion they have for each other, even though circumstances force them apart.

That’s because many years ago, Malena was badly hurt by a hunter and became unable to fly. She could no longer join Klepetan and the other storks on their annual migration to Africa. So, every August, Klepetan says goodbye to his mate and heads south, flying over 8,000 miles (13,000 km) away. But every year in March he returns to his love and she eagerly awaits his return.

Malena is not all alone when Klepetan is away. She has a very good friend who takes care of her.

Stjepan Vokić owns the house where Malena and Klepetan nest. He takes care of her through the lonely and cold winter months.

As soon as Klepetan returns, Stjepan makes sure to leave the two lovebirds alone, although he’ll check on their hatchlings now and then.

Over the years, the couple have raised over 40 babies together. This year is no different, and Klepetan returned again, but surprised the locals by arriving a week earlier than expected.