When you ask the Croatians what is the most beautiful love story told in those areas, probably everyone will think of the storks Clepetan and Malena first.
Twenty-four years ago in eastern Croatia, Stjepan, the then-headmaster of a primary school, found Malena injured next to a highway.
Due to the injury of the wings, Malena has not been able to go to South Africa with her species for 24 years, so instead she stays in Croatia and waits for spring to come.
But with spring comes her love Cleletan. He has been with her for 14 years.
Although Clepethan was going to Africa at the end of the summer, he returned to Malena every spring. In those 14 years, he once came a week earlier and was once 2 days late. All other years he was coming exactly on March 24th.
Malena is certainly waiting for him in the nest, because it is known that storks are animals that live with one partner for the rest of their lives.
Last year there was a false alarm when Malena was spotted in the company of another male, but she rejected him from her nest after a few hours.
However, this year is a bit different.
The most famous Croatian storks had a sad farewell. Retired Stjepan, explained that his Clepo, as he calls him, came to the nest old and sick.
“Four of the birds came to the mother and sat sadly for 3-4 hours. I knew then that Clepo had gone to die. You know what they say, birds die singing. “
The love story of Clapetan and Malena was also published on The Dodo, a well-known site that publishes interesting stories from the animal world.