A Romantic Long Distance Love Story

Here’s a lesson in true love from two Capetonian love birds

Not seeing each other for many months, missing your partner and counting the days till your next rendevous longingly – this situation is well known by some melancholy lovers. A relationship that lasts for many years, despite huge distances of thousands of kilometres - that’s true love.

Rodan and Malena also know this situation. 13.000 kilometres separate them from each other. Rodan lives in South Africa most of the time; Malena’s home is in Croatia. Once a year, Rodan flies to his beloved Malena in Croatia and there he spends the summer with her.

This year, Rodan set out from South Africa to Croatia for the fifth time to see his great love again. His travels took several days, flying above African deserts and steppes, above the Mediterranean Sea until finally arriving at Malena.

Rodan isn’t an office worker who likes to do stopovers on his journeys to take a touristic look at the surrounding areas. And Malena isn’t a student who can’t afford the expensive flights to South Africa. Rodan and Malena are storks. 

In 1993 Malena’s wing was injured by a hunter’s bullet and since then she isn’t able to fly. But that isn’t an obstacle for the love these storks have for each other. Rodan takes on the long flight all over again each year.  

More recently Malena and Rodan have raised some young storks and Rodan has proved to be an exemplary father. He successfully taught his offspring how to fly. Then he took them along to South Africa to overwinter before returning to Malena again the next year. 

This year they also expect new babies, says Stjepan Vokic to the ”Jutarnji List” newspaper  in Croatia. Since Malena’s accident, Vokic lovingly takes care of the female stork and watches her love story enthusiastically. 

In August, Rodan will head back to South Africa with his offspring. Malena will stay back in Croatia, desperately waiting for the next spring to see Rodan again.  

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