Broken-Hearted Swan Looks for Love
German Zoo Officials to Reunite an Unhappy Black Swan With Her Paddle-Boat Love
By CHRISTEL KUCHARZ
PASSAU, Germany, March 27, 2008
The love affair was short-lived. Petra, the wild black swan who has become a minor celebrity, appears to be lonely after her mate, a white swan, has ditched her for another.
Black swan "Petra" welcomes her "partner", a swan-shaped pedal boat at a small lake at the Zoo in Muenster, western Germany, on Friday March...
Black swan "Petra" welcomes her "partner", a swan-shaped pedal boat at a small lake at the Zoo in Muenster, western Germany, on Friday March 9, 2007. Petra left her wintering grounds on Friday where she spent the last months with her beloved paddle boat. The swan had "fallen in love" with the giant plastic swan when she met him on a lake in downtown Muenster in summer 2006.
(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)Zoo officials in Muenster, Germany, are going to reunite the animal with what appears to be the love of her life — a white paddle boat shaped like an oversized swan.
Sound strange? Not really, when you listen to the zoo director, Joerg Adler.
"We thought she was all set, when she and her new mate, a white swan, were building a nest together," said Adler. "But then her mate decided to fly off seeking the company of other black swans. She's swimming around in an agitated state ever since he ditched her, and we got to calm her down."
What's happening now may be the end of a long story that began in spring 2006, when Petra fell head over heels for a swan-shaped paddle boat out on Lake Aasee, located near the zoo in the city of Muenster.
She would not let the boat out of her sight, and over the following months became so attached to it that she refused to mingle with other swans.
Eventually, by the end of fall, the boat had to be removed from the lake, but the boat owner did not have the heart to separate the two.
Zoo director Adler decided to let Petra stay with it, taking both bird and boat into the city's zoo for the winter.