Location: Muenster, Germany, the Aasee (Muenster's lake).
2006: Petra, a black Australian swan, sees a plastic pedal boat shaped like a swan and falls in love with it. Immediately. She circles it, she makes crooning noises, she longs for it. She does not - ever - want to be separated from her love, no matter what the park officials say.
So, after consulting wild life experts, she's allowed to spend the winter with her love, in a small pond in the zoo. And next winter, too.
2008, early spring: Petra gets to know a white swan and ditches her former love. The two swans begin to build a nest together.
2008, late spring: Petra's new mate decides to leave her for another white swan. Petra's very agitated.
What can be done?
Yes! That's what the park officials decided to do: Reunite her with the swan boat, so Petra might feel good again! And, so it is said, they are inseparable again!
One of these days, I'm going to the lake and pay them a visit!
newspaper clippings - Reuters
newspaper clippings - abc - news
Thanks to Cervusvir for the photo.