The remarkable love story of two long-legged birds from eastern Croatia, which warmed hearts around the world, looks like it has come to an end.
Klepetan and Malena’s love story has captured the hearts of many in Croatia for 15 years now. The two storks made their nest on a chimney in Brodski Varos in eastern Croatia more than two decades ago. The pair would fly together until poachers injured Malena’s wing which left her flying capabilities restricted.
With storks being a migrating bird, this caused a problem. Every winter for the last 15 years Klepetan would leave Croatia and make his way more than 13,000 km to the warmer climates of Africa.
Without fail however, Klepetan has always manage somehow to negotiate his return to Croatia in the spring when the weather warms up to be reunited with Malena.
This year however he has not turned up.
“There was bad weather in Greece last year which slowed his journey of 13,500 km down, but he still arrived on 30 March. This year Malena and I were waiting for him to come, we didn’t give up hope till Sunday but now it is clear that he will not come. Something has definitely happened to him”, Stjepan Vokic, who has taken care of the birds in Brodski Varos for over a decade, told 24sata.
Klepetan would usually return to the nest around March 24. With last year’s arrival on 30 March an expectation.