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Croatian storks Rodan and Malena reunited after 8,000 mile winter flight - PHOTO

31 March 2010 [16:40] - TODAY.AZ
These birds of a feather always flock together - in sickness and in health.
After a 13,000km (8,000-mile) journey, Rodan the stork has once again been reunited with his true love Malena.

For the fifth year in a row, the faithful bird has flown back to the same rooftop in east Croatia to see his disabled partner.

He spends his winters alone in South Africa because poor Malena
cannot fly after being shot.

But every spring Rodan returns, presumably telling his wingmen before they land: ‘What happens in Cape Town stays in Cape Town.’

He keeps a very strict timetable, usually arriving back at the same time on the same day in March to be welcomed by locals. But this year he was in such a hurry to see Malena that he was two hours early.

Every summer, the love birds bring up chicks, with Rodan leading their flying lessons in preparation for the trip south in summer.

Stjepan Vokic, whose roof the couple nest on, has taken care of Malena since she was first injured by hunters in 1993.

‘Each year, I worry Rodan will not return safely to his Malena,’ he said.

‘I know many other storks return a few days later but he knows he needs to return home because Malena is waiting for him.’


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