22 years ago, his partner was seriously injured. Since then, this persistent stork has been stealing people’s hearts all around the world

Every year, on March 25th, a remarkable event takes place in a small Croatian village. Residents are out spotting a stork, which returns to his wounded partner at the same time each year.

It all began in 1993. That year, the school principal in Brodská Varos found a female stork shot by hunters. He dressed her wounds and took her under his roof. Despite this, the bird could not depart for warmer countries and spent the whole winter under the watchful eye of Stjepan Vokica. The man named her Melena and took care of her as best he could.


Shortly after, another stork named Klepetan fell in love with Melena. Every spring, he returned from Africa to the nest where his beloved stayed. He usually did it between the 24th and 25th of March. One year, Stjepan noticed that a male had landed on the school roof. At the beginning, he thought it was Klepetan, but it was unlike him. He was usually on time, but now he had flown in 12 days early.

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