Stork That Lost Partner 19 Years Ago Still Keeps Lonely Vigil And Refuses To Fly South

A stork that lost his partner 19 years ago when she was electrocuted in a high-voltage power line has been adopted as the symbol of the city where he made his home.

Storks pair for life so when the partner of this stork was killed 19 years ago after they flew to near a high-voltage power line, the male was sadly left alone.

That year, he made his nest on the roof of a mosque in the city of Bayburt in north-eastern Turkey, and every year maintains a lonely vigil there in the hope that his partner will return.

When he lost his partner, the stork even stopped migrating south to warmer climes, preferring to wait it out in the winter.

This year he has once again refused to travel south, and will remain at the mosque in the Turkish city.

Credit: Newsflash
The stork Vefali who came to Bayburt’s Arpali town 19 years ago, didn’t migrate this year

Local residents have taken the stork to their hearts and adopted him as the official symbol of the city,

The stork has been given the nickname Vefali which means ‘faithful’ because of his devotion to his long lost partner, and he has now become a popular tourist attraction with some people visiting the city only to photograph the lonely bird.

Local mayor Abdurrahman Polattimur said: “The stork has not left our town for 19 years. He made a nest for himself in the dome of our central mosque.”

The bird is now so important to locals that when repairs were carried out on the mosque recently, they made sure they were carried out quickly and did not disturb the space where the nest was.

Vefali flew off when the roofers were at work and watched them from a nearby building, returning as soon as they finished.

Storks can live for decades with the longest recorded ever surviving to the age of 39 which was a bird that had been ringed in Switzerland.

In captivity, they are known to live for over 35 years, and typically form partnerships with other storks at the age of around four.

It is unclear how old Vefali is.

Credit: Newsflash
The stork Vefali who came to Bayburt’s Arpali town 19 years ago, didn’t migrate this year

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Feza Uzay, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency:  Newsflash

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