This might be one of the most epic love stories ever. It involves two storks, Klepetan and Malena, and they'll make you believe in soulmates. It turns out that every year, for the last 16 years, a male stork named Klepetan has flown 13,000 kilometers to join his mate, Malena, who was injured and isn't able to fly. Now that's so romantic, and you have to ask yourself, how many of you would be willing to do this for your own significant other? Better yet, how many of you are actually lucky enough to have a soulmate as devoted and kind-hearted like Klepetan? Until now, the thought of loving a stork would have been unimaginable, but Klepetan is definitely winning a lot of people over.
For the last 16 years, Klepetan has traveled 13,000 kilometers to be with his mate, Malena, every March. Eventually, Klepetan must bid his beloved farewell and fly back to South Africa, where he'll undoubtedly count the days until he's reunited with Malena.
A widower by the name of Stjepan Vokic discovered Malena, who had been left seriously injured by an Italian hunter who broke her wing. Vokic had treated Malena's injuries and looked after her to ensure that no more harm would come to her.
Malena and Klepetan's love story blossomed on the rooftop of Vokic's home in Brodski Varos, a tiny Croatian village. Sadly, Malena hasn't been able to fly since her initial injury, so the female stork couldn't join her mate by flying south, where it was warmer starting in the month of August.
Some would have said that the chances of Klepetan returning after he initially flew off were slim to none, but the stork surprised Vokic, a former school janitor, by returning. Of course, we're sure that Malena never doubted in her heart that her beloved would remain devoted to her.
Every year, in anticipation of Klepetan's return, Vokic prepares a bucket of fish to greet the tired stork after his long journey to Croatia. That's when Klepetan will then take his place at Malena's side on the roof.
Some wondered if Vokic was sure that this was the same stork who visited Malena, but Vokic was certain of it. In fact, one summer, the stork arrived a week early, and went looking for the bucket of fish. It was empty because Vokic assumed he had another week. But only Klepetan would know about the bucket.
The stork travels from South Africa to the Horn of Africa, Somalia, Sinai, and across the Iraqi deserts to get to Croatia. Now that's what we call dedication, and he could probably teach humanity a thing or two about fidelity.
Klepetan and Malena have put the village of Brodski Varos on the map since news outlets started covering the story about these two lovebirds. Even the Croatian Tourist Board has mentioned the love and dedication that this couple has.
Klepetan keeps coming back year after year, which makes this relationship so special. In some cases, when a stork is so injured that they can't find food, the other stork will remain behind, even if that means bracing for the harsh winter. Let's just hope someone makes a movie about these two.