Kepetan and Malena, the storks, started their beautiful love story on a rooftop 15 years ago in Brodski Varos, Croatia. The pair has a nest on the rooftop where Klepetan leaves behind his female partner, Malena, each August and migrates to South Africa. Malena then spends the entire fall and winter alone, without him. Then, Klepetan returns to his beloved on every March—he has been reuniting with her for the past 15 years!
Malena cannot migrate with Kepetan because a hunter injured her wings over 20 years ago. She has not been able to fly much ever since and flying 8,000 miles is no joke. Malena Is not, however, completely lonely in the absence of Kepetan.
Stjepan Vokic has been taking care of Malena ever since she was injured. Stjepan has built a nest for her on his roof and he always makes sure she has a safe place to live and wait for her beloved. He also has a warm nest built for her in his garage for the winters.
Malena can’t return to the wild. So, Stjepan makes sure she has everything she needs. He collects fish for her food and branches for her nest. He even prepares a bucket of fish to offer to Kepetan every year when he returns.
Media gathers around the village every year during the time they can Kepetan to return. And, he never fails to surprise them every year with his dedication and commitment for Malena.
Kepetan and Malena have also started a family of their own! By now, 59 of their young storks have been brought to this world. What a beautiful love story!
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