Long-distance love stories have often pulled the heartstrings of many on the internet but this post shared by Former Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, Kiran Bedi on social media stands apart from the rest. The post includes a video of a heartwarming love story between a disabled stork, Marlena, and her mate that captured the attention of global media some of which had reportedly hailed it as one of the "greatest love stories of the 21st century." Many who followed their story across the globe cheered them on seeing this as welcome evidence that love knows no boundaries when it comes to distance, language and, in this case, even species. The retired IPS officer and author posted the video just a day before 'World Environment Day' with this caption, "Good #morningnutrition#disability#Support#Whitestorks#Lessons."
The emotional story features a female stork who was injured by a gunshot and left disabled. She was rescued by Croatian citizen Stjepan Vokić who nursed her back to health. She then attracted the love of her life. After the male stork, Klepton, entered her life, he travelled 16000 kilometres back and forth during the migratory season, to take care of Marlena, and they raised 66 children together. The video shows how the male stork guarded and fed the injured Marlena for over 2 decades against all odds, even its natural urge to migrate.
But the story is not just about Marlena and Klepton's love alone. It extends to the fatherly love of the Croatian citizen who invested time and care in Marlena over 15 years, treating the injured bird as his daughter. He took her on rounds, fed her, and even made her a comfortable nest on the roof. According to Croatia Week Stjepan shared the story of Marlena and Klepton in an appeal to the President of Lebanon to help prevent the killing of birds migrating over Lebanon by hunters and even often those shooting for sport. The President was reportedly moved enough to take action.
For many on the internet, this story is a testament to how far will love will travel to stay alive and that love always wins over hate.
One comment read, "This story serves as a reminder that love knows no boundaries, whether it be between humans or animals. It demonstrates the power of empathy and the lengths one will go to support and care for their loved ones, even in challenging circumstances. Such stories can inspire and remind us of the goodness that exists in the world. They teach us the value of compassion, loyalty, and the importance of standing by those we love, no matter the obstacles."
Another user commented, "I always believed in the power of true love and admire my passion to always yearn for it. In this modern world of easy love and easier breakups, this video made me realize I am on the right path, there will be a day when I will also share such an amazing love story of mine and make people believe true love still exists and will always do. you just need to not settle for anything less than you believe you deserve."