Stork travels thousands of miles every year to be reunited with His Injured Mate

If you don’t believe true love exists, the endearing story of these two storks may just change your mind.

At the end of August each year, male stork Klepetan migrates to South Africa and leaves behind his partner Malena in Croatia.


Malena remains alone in the small Croatian village without Klepetan’s company throughout the fall and winter months.


Just because she was injured years ago by a hunter, and ever since she’s been unable to fly with Klepetan.But that hasn’t stopped Klepetan from putting in the extra work.



He makes the 8,000 mile journey to South Africa all by himself,but come March, for the past 15 years like clockwork, Klepetan returns from the warm south to once again be reunited with Malena.Together, they spend the summer on the roof of Stjepan Vokić’s home.


This past year Klepetan returned to Malena an entire week early, and Vokić was able to confirm that it was the same bird because he went looking for the bucket of fish that Vokić leaves out for him every year.



The two have had and raised more than 40 baby storks over the years and are typically inseparable during their time spent together each year.


These two storks share an incredible bond, and it’s one that is pretty unusual; for their species, as storks aren’t known to necessarily mate for life.But Klepetan and Malena wanted to put other storks, and even humans, to shame with the strength of their relationship!


The pair is so famous in Croatia that there’s even an animated video about their incredible story.

See Klepetan’s dedication to Malena in action: