Dec 15, 2007 Crinkly the ugly swan finds love after seven
years by Gulliver
Crinkly the deformed
swan, rejected by the girls for years, may finally have
It's a real-life Ugly Duckling story that gives hope to us
Crinkly the ugly swan with the oddly deformed neck thought
he was destined to be the eternal bachelor of the swan world.
Shunned by the girls, his weirdly bent neck has kept him from
finding love, until . . . a real-life fairy tale change in
Now Crinkly, whose defect was probably caused by a birth defect,
may finally have found a girlfriend after seven years.
The ugly cob is a well-known face at Slimbridge Wildfowl and
Wetlands Trust, Gloucestershire. He has flown in to the English
bird sanctuary from Arctic Russia every year since 2001 to
spent Christmas there.
After years of being rejected by the girls, another swan at
the centre has finally shown an interest in Crinkly.
Conservation workers had been worried about Crinkly's failure
to attract the opposite sex. And they hadn't been rating his
chances because he is such a strange-looking bird.
Up to now none of the females at the trust was prepared to
mate with this one ugly cob.
But that's all about to change as workers report seeing signs
of a budding romance.
"We are delighted because we think Crinkly has finally
found a girlfriend," said trust spokesperson Jools Mackin.
"He appears to be associating with another Bewick's swan
called Taciturn. At the moment they are associating on Swan
It's too early to say whether or not they are mates and workers
at the reserve will be monitoring the love birds in the coming
The pair fly in and out together and everybody at Slimbridge
is hoping there will a happy ending to this unusual love story
when the two become mates.
Crinkly first arrived to his Christmas home in England as
a cygnet with parents Lucius and Coletta, with his oddly deformed
neck probably caused by a birth defect.
Despite his deformity, he has survied seven migrations from
breeding grounds on the Russian Arctic tundra. That means
he has flown an amazing 21,000km.
Swans fly back to Britain at this time of year because conditions
in the freezing tundra make feeding impossible for them.