When Recep Mirzan saw a wounded swan in a field in the Turkish province of Edirne in 1984, he had no idea that he would become his best friend. He was in a car with friends and spotted a swan with a broken wing.
He knew he couldn’t leave the wounded animal because predators would most likely eat it, so he stopped the car and took it with him.
“Because I love animals, I had to take the swan with me instead of leaving it as prey to foxes. We got used to each other, and we never separated,” Mirzan told the Associated Press.
When the broken wing of this female swan was healed, she did not try to fly away. Instead, she befriended other animals on his farm in the Karaagac region, on the border with Greece, and decided to stay. Mirzan gave her the name Garip, which means bizarre, and he has been with her for the last 37 years.
“She comes when I call her. She’s never left me since 1984, even during the floods. She used to be more energetic, now she’s old. If she dies, I’ll make her a nice grave here, but I certainly hope we live together for a long time.” , adds this retired postman.
Garip has his own chicken coop on Mirzan’s farm, and he mostly spends nights there. During the day he follows his man in his footsteps, either during his daily affairs or in the evening walks.
After his wife died a few years ago, Mirzan began spending more time with his animals, and Garip considers him his child.
Swans can live in sheltered environments for decades, but Garip has long since exceeded the average lifespan of its species.