(8 Feb 2021) LEAD IN:
It was more than three decades ago that a postman found Garip, a female swan, wounded in an empty field in Turkey.
SInce then, a special bond was formed between them and the pair have been always side by side.
In Turkey, a postman and a swan struck up an unusual friendship decades ago and have been inseparable since.
Retired postman Recep Mirzan and Garip, a female swan, met 37 years ago in the western Edirne province.
Mirzan and Garip live in the man’s farm in the Karaagac region, bordering Greece.
Garip follows Mirzan around, accompanying him when he is doing chores around the farm or for his daily evening walks.
He found Garip when he was still working as a postman more than three decades ago.
Mirzan and a group of friends were taking a shortcut in their car when they noticed a wounded swan with a broken wing in an empty field.
Mirzan immediately took the swan in to protect her and kept her in the car until that afternoon, when he was able to take the swan to his home.
“Since I love animals, I said to myself that I should take her home instead of leaving her as prey to foxes,” Mirzan says.
“We got used to each other. We never separated,” he adds.
Mirzan later named the swan “Garip,” which literally translates into “bizarre” but can also be used to describe those who are down on their luck.
After Garip’s broken wing healed, the swan stayed with Mirzan and also befriended the cats and dogs in the area.
Garip spends most of her time out of her pen and has never tried to run away from Mirzan’s farmstead.
A widower with no children of his own, Mirzan considers the swan his child.
If Garip had babies, he would take care of them until he dies, he says.
According to the UK-based Swan sanctuary, the average lifespan for a swan in the wild is 12 years. In protected environments, however, they can live up to 30 years.
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