Bird flies 8,000 miles every year to be with handicapped mate

A Fifteen Year Love Story For Two Storks Klepetan And Malena
A Fifteen Year Love Story For Two Storks Klepetan And Malena

For nearly twenty years, a male stork has been flying 8,000 miles to be with his handicapped mate.

At the end of every August the male stork named Klepetan, migrates south from Brodski Varos in Croatia to the warmer climes of South Africa. Unfortunately for his female partner, Malena, she is unable to join him through the autumn and winter months after being injured by hunters and losing the power of flight.

However, come March, Klepetan returns from the warmth to once reunite with his mate and help raise their young.

While storks don't always mate for life, they do tend to return to the same nests and mating partner, which explains Klepetan's loyalty.

Local man Stjepan Vokić, who's been caring for the storks since they first nested on the rooftop of his home, estimates the pair have now raised more than 40 baby storks and says they are inseparable during during their time together each year.

The pair is now so famous in Croatia there's even an animated short film depicting their incredible story.

Watch it below: